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Mark Yakich is an original... In the unabashedly unwieldy title and in each poem, there are no borders drawn between the commonplace and the metaphysical. There are journeys, crossings, and departures—all evocative of the loneliness, alienation, and desire for identity with another (person or place), which, formalized, makes this work recognizable as art of a very high ord Mark Yakich is an original... In the unabashedly unwieldy title and in each poem, there are no borders drawn between the commonplace and the metaphysical. There are journeys, crossings, and departures—all evocative of the loneliness, alienation, and desire for identity with another (person or place), which, formalized, makes this work recognizable as art of a very high order.” —James Galvin, Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts Fellow


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Mark Yakich is an original... In the unabashedly unwieldy title and in each poem, there are no borders drawn between the commonplace and the metaphysical. There are journeys, crossings, and departures—all evocative of the loneliness, alienation, and desire for identity with another (person or place), which, formalized, makes this work recognizable as art of a very high ord Mark Yakich is an original... In the unabashedly unwieldy title and in each poem, there are no borders drawn between the commonplace and the metaphysical. There are journeys, crossings, and departures—all evocative of the loneliness, alienation, and desire for identity with another (person or place), which, formalized, makes this work recognizable as art of a very high order.” —James Galvin, Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment of the Arts Fellow

30 review for Unrelated Individuals Forming a Group Waiting to Cross

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book exists when I'm not reading it, even when I'm not thinking about it. It has more energy than I do and the right ratio of cleverness to emotion. Some of my favorite poems are: "Dreams Hardly Ever Seem to Change Things for the Better," "Blind Girl's Litany," "Stone Fruit," "Terms of Attraction (Greek Legend for Americans)," "Missteps in the Ballroom," "Nocturne," and "Against Elegy." Consider these lines: ". . . What isn't / more beautiful / with a bit of blood on it?" and "a dime severe This book exists when I'm not reading it, even when I'm not thinking about it. It has more energy than I do and the right ratio of cleverness to emotion. Some of my favorite poems are: "Dreams Hardly Ever Seem to Change Things for the Better," "Blind Girl's Litany," "Stone Fruit," "Terms of Attraction (Greek Legend for Americans)," "Missteps in the Ballroom," "Nocturne," and "Against Elegy." Consider these lines: ". . . What isn't / more beautiful / with a bit of blood on it?" and "a dime severed in half, very / unlike two / spinning / nickels." and "I've gotten younger knowing blindness better. Never mind callused fingertips. Endless circles. Never mind the golden mean has nothing to do with the golden rule."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jessi

    Some of the poems are really excellent and gorgeous, but most of them are nothing special.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Seibert

    Mark Yakich creates a very vivid atmosphere in this collection of poetry. I enjoyed the descriptive details and lucid form.

  4. 5 out of 5

    l

    Yakich's debut collection, winner of the 2003 National Poetry Series competition, occasionally blushes with excessive preciousness. But by and large, Yakich offers a few gems, and its stylistic breadth is almost shamelessly virtuosic... as well as a good entry for people just beginning to fall in love with poetry. I'd told Daniel, the Grolier Poetry Bookshop's keeper, some of the writers I'd been reading, and I'd asked for recommendations. I'd sampled a few of Yakich's poems, but this one's simpl Yakich's debut collection, winner of the 2003 National Poetry Series competition, occasionally blushes with excessive preciousness. But by and large, Yakich offers a few gems, and its stylistic breadth is almost shamelessly virtuosic... as well as a good entry for people just beginning to fall in love with poetry. I'd told Daniel, the Grolier Poetry Bookshop's keeper, some of the writers I'd been reading, and I'd asked for recommendations. I'd sampled a few of Yakich's poems, but this one's simplicity charmed me into taking it home. [Quote] Before Losing Yourself Completely to Love Drop bread crumbs around your feet. You will find yourself far away and hungry. [/Quote] The others have not disappointed. Check out "Gentle Reader," p. 63. On my to-do list: composing a comparable poem to my parents so that they may better understand their daughter.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Maxie Froelicher

    I don’t remember where this book came from, but I found it as I was unhauling books, and decided that it looked short enough to sit down and read. I wasn’t a big fan of the authors writing style, but most of the poems were okay in my opinion. Well, most of them were until I got to “Gentle Reader”. That poem not only referred to poems not in the book, which might have been the point, yet was the blurb on the back of the book. It, along with one other poem, also said something along the lines of “t I don’t remember where this book came from, but I found it as I was unhauling books, and decided that it looked short enough to sit down and read. I wasn’t a big fan of the authors writing style, but most of the poems were okay in my opinion. Well, most of them were until I got to “Gentle Reader”. That poem not only referred to poems not in the book, which might have been the point, yet was the blurb on the back of the book. It, along with one other poem, also said something along the lines of “this poem is good even if you don’t like it”. So it feels. Very self serving almost. The one poem I did like over all the others was “The Teller Is the Only Survivor of the Fairy Tale Ending.” Read for the POPSUGAR challenge prompt #8: A book with an upside-down image on the cover

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Smith

    There's some undeniable moxy here, which is alarming, because I dislike the word "moxy" and yet have no accurate replacement to describe this book. Maybe it's a surfeit of moxy that holds me back from totally liking this, but I wish it were a little more rude. It's full of concept poems--you know, where the conceit of the poem constitutes 75% or more of the poem's intrigue. But the problem with concept poems is that it's pretty difficult to write something that lives up to the possibility genera There's some undeniable moxy here, which is alarming, because I dislike the word "moxy" and yet have no accurate replacement to describe this book. Maybe it's a surfeit of moxy that holds me back from totally liking this, but I wish it were a little more rude. It's full of concept poems--you know, where the conceit of the poem constitutes 75% or more of the poem's intrigue. But the problem with concept poems is that it's pretty difficult to write something that lives up to the possibility generated by the framing idea, leaving readers like me a little cranky.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    A solid and accessible collection though a little too varied in form for my tastes. Many of the pieces read like a narrative making me long for more and yet some are perfectly sparse: Before Losing Yourself Completely to Love Drop bread crumbs around your feet. You will find yourself far away and hungry. Short poetry doesn't get much better than that! A solid and accessible collection though a little too varied in form for my tastes. Many of the pieces read like a narrative making me long for more and yet some are perfectly sparse: Before Losing Yourself Completely to Love Drop bread crumbs around your feet. You will find yourself far away and hungry. Short poetry doesn't get much better than that!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brent Legault

    I know this guy so it hardly seems just for me to wax fantastic about his work. That said, these poems are the kind of poems that get stuck in the ear, like the pond water you can't shake out after a summer swim. They are poems to be read and reread. And if it isn't too otherwordly for me to admit, not only is the poet my friend but some of his poems are too. I know this guy so it hardly seems just for me to wax fantastic about his work. That said, these poems are the kind of poems that get stuck in the ear, like the pond water you can't shake out after a summer swim. They are poems to be read and reread. And if it isn't too otherwordly for me to admit, not only is the poet my friend but some of his poems are too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    W.B.

    It was perhaps a tad too playful in its formalistic experiments, but I found some of the work memorable and moving. The one love poem in couplets (I'm not near the book now) was one of my favorite poems from that year...I would be interested in seeing more books by this poet. It was perhaps a tad too playful in its formalistic experiments, but I found some of the work memorable and moving. The one love poem in couplets (I'm not near the book now) was one of my favorite poems from that year...I would be interested in seeing more books by this poet.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Adam Dupaski

    This collection is great. There is humor and accessibility and beautifully provocative scenes as well as a quite masterful use of form. It's good any time of the day, for a quick or slow read, and it's motivating poetry in more ways than one. This collection is great. There is humor and accessibility and beautifully provocative scenes as well as a quite masterful use of form. It's good any time of the day, for a quick or slow read, and it's motivating poetry in more ways than one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Olga

    Wow, what a great collection of poems. I wasn't expecting to like this as much as a did, but these poems are smart, the use of language is brilliant. There are poems for every taste, some are extremely humorous, some are sad. This one became of of my current favourites. Wow, what a great collection of poems. I wasn't expecting to like this as much as a did, but these poems are smart, the use of language is brilliant. There are poems for every taste, some are extremely humorous, some are sad. This one became of of my current favourites.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cambria Lovelady

    I went to grad school with Mark, and one of the poems is dedicated to me. It's my all-time favorite poem. Mark is prolific and beautiful writer; I'm not the biggest fan of poetry but I love love love this collection. I went to grad school with Mark, and one of the poems is dedicated to me. It's my all-time favorite poem. Mark is prolific and beautiful writer; I'm not the biggest fan of poetry but I love love love this collection.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Murphy

    This book makes me want to be a better poet.

  14. 4 out of 5

    ems

    Some self-consciously poemy-poems, but worth it for the others.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Molly M M

    He wrote a poem about panties and now I have the only printed copy of it. Cool. He also is an IWU alum.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Aran

    Fun, lots of spring in its step.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

  18. 5 out of 5

    Gary McDowell

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gerta Rehfeld

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marissa Leigh

  21. 5 out of 5

    John

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kat Lewis

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steven Felicelli

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jim Manis

  27. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Jones

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bill

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