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In Memory of Brilliance & Value
Michael Robins

2015 • 80 pp. 5 1/2 x 7 1/2"

$15.00 Paperback, 978-0-9915454-8-3

“What an absolute pleasure it is to read Michael Robins' In Memory of Brilliance & Value. His musicality is rarely paralleled, and 'the voice releasing indelible things' sings songs of real experience.” —Noelle Kocot

Michael Robins’s In Memory of Brilliance and Value is an elegy to a modern-day America that is uncontainable, uncontrollable, and unstoppable

In his third collection, Michael Robins unleashes the couplet to bring the pastoral past into the modern day, aligning images of grazing buffalo with those of torture and war. In the intersection between reality and imagination, with violence flowing like a river beneath us at all times, these lyric poems offer associative and sonic shifts that drive the speaker’s narrative insights. Like a mad chef on a tear, Robins concocts small poetic miracles using equal parts wonder and terror. His dishes are meticulously crafted and served up with gusto. We cannot help but relish in them.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“...In Memory of Brilliance & Value reveals itself as an erotic testing ground of experience in and of language. Here is an elegy for the clear light in which what matters most is revealed, a light no longer wholly our own; here are poems filled with that wound called nostalgia, longing for experience that had once been whole.”—Dan Beachy-Quick

“Michael Robins taps into the harsh murmurs of the daily world.”—John Yau

From the Book:

“Most Likely to Secede”

I am a room full of people. I am a room
facing people forward. What I've done

keeps me filled & I build myself taking
their heads. I wasn't hoping for a whorl,

rended for the era was one of undoing.
My people burned. My hospital burned

& burned. Birds went thump in the rays
like a stillborn crown, mainly baggage

where more burned inside the window.
Heat of so much clapping sang blisters

on my skin. I am a room full of people
who confess every millionth minor bird

& burn each one. Other, smaller birds
were birds left burning with their cribs.

MICHAEL ROBINS was born in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of several collections of poetry—including The Next Settlement and Ladies & Gentlemen (Saturnalia Books)—and teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. For more information, visit

Click here for author's website.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:31:18 -0500