Nate Klug has been hailed by the Threepenny Review as a poet who is “an original in Eliot’s sense of the word.” In Hosts and Guests, his exciting second collection, Klug revels in slippery roles and shifting environments. The poems move from a San Francisco tech bar and a band of Pokémon Go players to the Shakers and St. Augustine, as they explore the push-pull between community and solitude, and past and present. Hosts and Guests gathers an impressive range: critiques of the “immiserated quiet” of modern life, love poems and poems of new fatherhood, and studies of a restless, nimble faith. At a time when the meanings of hospitality and estrangement have assumed a new urgency, Klug takes up these themes in chiseled, musical lines that blend close observation of the natural world, social commentary, and spiritual questioning. As Booklist has observed of his work, “The visual is rendered sonically, so perfectly one wants to involve the rest of the senses, to speak the lines, to taste the syllables.”
Nate Klug is the author of the poetry collection Anyone and Rude Woods, a modern translation of Virgil’s Eclogues. His poetry has appeared in the Nation, the New York Review of Books, and The Best American Poetry. A Congregational minister, he lives in Albany, California.
Rain in Plural is the much-anticipated fourth collection of poetry by Fiona Sze-Lorrain, who has been praised by The Rumpus as “a master of musicality and enlightening allusions.” In the wholly original world of these new poems, Sze-Lorrain addresses both private narratives and the overexposed discourse of the polis, using silence and montage, lyric and antilyric, to envision what she calls “creating between liberties.” With a moral precision embracing us without eschewing I, she rethinks questions of citizenship, the selections of sensory memory, and, by extension, the tether of word and image to the actual. She writes, “I accept the truth in newspapers / by holding the murder of my friends against my chest. // To each weather forecast I give thanks: / merci for every outdated // dusk/dawn.” Agrippina the Younger, Franz Kafka, Bob Dylan, a butoh performance, an unnamed Raku tea bowl—each has a place here. Made whole by time and its alteration in timelessness, synchrony, coincidences, and accidents, Rain in Plural beautifully reveals an elegiac yet ever-evolving inner life.
Fiona Sze-Lorrain is a poet, translator, editor, and zheng harpist. She is the author of three previous poetry collections, including The Ruined Elegance (Princeton), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She has also translated more than a dozen books of contemporary Chinese, French, and American poetry. She lives in Paris.