talking with you in the dark
Author: Robert Letters
Publication Date: September 29, 2020
In another haunting collection of lyrics that first appeared on social media, Robert Letters narrates four sequences of conversation. But these conversations are curiously one-sided, and the reader must decide who is speaking, and who, if anyone, is listening. Each short poem is an independent work, but also an integrated component in a set of mysterious patterns.
Help Keep Out: Volume 5
Author: Robert Letters
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
On February 16, 2015 Robert Letters posted a 5-line poem on Twitter. This began an ongoing daily practice that continued for over four years, resulting in a 1,700-poem sequence that ended on October 22, 2019. Help Keep Out: Volume 5 contains Books 13-17, the final five books in the project.
The poems in Help Keep Out are predominantly informed by Asian forms – haiku, senryu, tanka, and sijo. While most of the structural characteristics of these forms have been preserved, this is not always the case, and traditional constraints inherent in the genres have often been ignored.
Praise for Help Keep Out: Volume 5
“Dreamlike, with nightmarish scenarios fading into sweet moments in nature or love and then back to darker moments. Historical scenarios are juxtaposed against modern issues.”
-Blue Ink Starred Review
“Another collection of mysterious and haunting poems … will thrill readers who love the stark imagery and battles of epic poetry but want an update for the current national climate.”
“The poems work when read as individual pieces, but the real poetry is in their combination. One can find patterns and connections between works that were composed months or years apart...A bracingly exciting read, and one that many – even those who haven’t followed Letters’ daily posts on social media – are certain to derive a great deal of pleasure from.”
“A recurring refrain of a shaman on the mound, telling their people about invaders, highlights Letters’ investigation of why people feel the need to build walls around themselves and their communities, … allows readers to reflect on past and modern-day sentiments regarding colonization, immigration, and other issues ... Letters’ poetry is often striking, and he has a knack for poignant, brief descriptions. … This collection is moving and relevant. An expressive compendium of vividly descriptive verses.”