What Monsters You Make of Them

What Monsters You Make of Them interrogates ecology and injustice through shifting landscapes and ancient cities.  

Stand astonished at a painting, venerate the mugshot of a poet, riff on a comedian’s quip, and recall a mentor persevering through grief. Speak of headhunters, of word origins, of saints and gods stitched into a newfound pantheon, of the multiverse as a source of reincarnation. Visit ancient cities, national parks, a sundry of gardens, and the ruins of a farmhouse. A teacher fails to help a student. A student explains war to her teacher. Seize back the forgotten. Kneel to not knowing. Interrogate ecology and injustice through shifting landscapes and know What Monsters You Make of Them


“Echoing out from etymology, ‘the place where they plant the unwanted,’ reveling in the pastiche surreality of US cultural and political history, ‘where each side of time lives in the other’s deepest past,’ Christian Teresi’s exquisite poems are that rare work wrought from deep necessity and sung from an even deeper compassion. Each line captures the ache of desire, the delicate dance of hope, each poem lingering long after reading, haunting ‘as murmurs no longer fluent in their origin.’ Deft in form, this is a dazzling collection, reminding us we are all ‘where the landscape nurtures the in-between,’ and there, in yearning and grace, ‘the end has never been the end.’”

–– J. Michael Martinez, author of Tarta Americana and Museum of the Americas, long-listed for the National Book Award

“Here, Teresi inhabits people, as well as the spaces between them, to reveal the self as a web of interconnections. The dialogue between famous authors, Mayan gods, mythic figures, and celebrities accumulates into both a communal self as well as a highly personal one—a mind whose edges are defined by what is questioned and considered. When he says, in ‘Metamorphoses,’ ‘After enough time, no one remembers who anyone was,’ it is actually a celebration of this communal, human interaction.”

–– Richard Siken, author of I Do Know Some ThingsWar of the Foxes, and Crush, finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award

Christian Teresi

Publication Date: September 24, 2024

$16.95 Tradepaper

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ISBN: 978-1-63628-170-4