Rift Zone

Rift Zone, Taylor’s anticipated third book, traces literal and metaphoric fault lines— rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Circling Taylor’s hometown— an ordinary California suburb lying along the Hayward fault— these poems unearth strata that include a Spanish land grant, a bloody land grab, gun violence, valley girls, strip malls, redwood trees, and the painful history of Japanese internment.

Taylor’s ambitious and masterful poems read her home state’s historic violence against our world’s current unsteadinesses—mass eviction, housing crises, deportation, inequality. They also ponder what it means to try to bring up children along these rifts. What emerges is a powerful core sample of America at the brink—American elegy equally tuned to maternal and to geologic time. At once sorrowful and furious, tender and fierce, Rift Zone is startingly observant, relentlessly curious—a fearsome tremor of a book.


“The poet for our moment.”—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic

“In Rift Zone, Tess Taylor’s brilliant third collection, we encounter a magisterial range of subjects, from the geologic to the civic to the intimately personal. This book is a confident poetic engagement with the vital issues of our time, including the disastrous consequences of human activity on our climate, and its effect on the public and private spheres. Rooted in the shifting California landscape, this elegiac yet hopeful book is a necessary addition to the corpus of work dedicated to grieving the world as we know it.” —Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things

An orange background with a drawing of the state of California at the center and dark blue script that reads Rift Zone poems by Tess Taylor.

Tess Taylor ( Author Website )

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

Genre/Imprint: Poetry, Red Hen Press

$16.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-776-5


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