“At the moment when the last question mark appeared at the end of the last fully formed question, the readers of this book that took some time to appear came together to form THE SOCIETY FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF UNWRITTEN LITERATURE. They did this in future-reverse.”

“This book is brilliant. A consideration of Bo Diddley sits beside a treatise on “Difficult Ways to Publish Poetry”; there are jokes and lists and disease and spot-on aphorisms that sidestep true/false to become their own category of being. What makes A Handbook essential? The quality of writing, the shape of its thoughts, and the spaces of freedom it encourages in us as participants and co-conspirators. To read Anne Boyer is to join an underdog collectivity, “both always in this world and looking for another.””

— Jace Clayton

“Sometimes it seems that we are defeated by our very substance so we can celebrate our remains. Is this our fate? Or is it even more deadly and more numerous? Having been placed on trial and held there, in the twin intensities of love of poetry and hatred of the world, Anne Boyer’s essays meet disappointment with a succor forged in rage. Her writing is a balm and a bomb all its own.”

— Fred Moten

“Poets often publish essay collections after their third or fourth or fifth book and before their selected by a few years and before their collected by maybe 20 years. These essay collections tend to be designed to show their very specific love of various very specific aesthetic tendencies, how seriously they have taken their calling, and how important they take the work of their friends. Anne Boyer does not do this. Instead she suggests that one good way to publish poetry would be the construction of pneumatic tubes between Des Moines and Brooklyn. She suggests a better version of the avant garde, one where all the poems begin with “HELLO.” Or what I am saying is that while this book is often at moments serious and profound in its indictments of the self promoting seriousness of the thing we call poetry, what I love most about it is the way it takes its whimsy so seriously. And yet it isn’t all whimsy. Because cancer shows up too. And the travails of women writers. And also Langston Hughes on trial. And Mary J Blige too.”

— Juliana Spahr

Forthcoming from UDP in early 2018, A Handbook of Disappointed Fate highlights a decade of Anne Boyer’s interrogative writing on poetry, death, love, lambs, time, Kansas City, and other impossible questions.