Selected for the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize

Winner of The New England Poetry Club’s
Sheila Motton Book Award for best book of the previous two years.


“It is not that he cannot find things to applaud
but that he can no longer do it in the usual way

and has had to forget so much lest he come
to the end too soon, with nothing left to desire.”


“Hoffman’s poems tap into moments when civilization dissolves, not superficially, but at its emotional roots. Simply reading this book becomes an engaged, passionate experience. Time and again through the poet’s weary irony comes the bite of life. He makes the world seem, in the words of Wislawa Szymborska, whom he quotes: ‘just a room away.’” —Molly Peacock

“Hoffman is the poet traveling our nightmare of now, our descent into a lack of love for one another, but along the way he finds etchings of hope on the walls amid all the signs of a falling away from a center that has forgotten how to hold. Hoffman’s tropes and incantations invite us to shed a wisdom that has grown archaic so that we can begin to reclaim the genuine and live.” —Afaa Michael Weaver

“Poetry should be beautiful and dangerous, unforgettable, transformational, meaningful across academic and social borders. This is.” —Linda McCarriston

“Hoffman is a rarity among American poets; his premise is dialogic, his canvas vast, his stance self-questioning. This new book is breakthrough work; poetry of hard-earned grounding, profound integrity, and scalding, visionary intensity.” – D. Nurkse