Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 4

27 February 2018

“I’ll go back to these poems again and again.”

—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones

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27 Feb 2018

About this book:

Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 4 collects three chapbooks in a single volume: Regina DiPerna’s A Map of Veins, Ryan Teitman’s Jesuits, and Paisley Rekdal‘s Philomela.

Regina DiPerna’s first collection of poems, A Map of Veins, tells the story of the death of a lover and her healing process. In these elegies, DiPerna faces the guilt of finding new love, death taunts her years after the fact with postcards and gifts, and memory haunts her dreams.

Jesuits, Ryan Teitman’s second collection, explores childhood, fatherhood, and the holy spirit in rich lyrical verse and prose. In often surreal poetry and prose, Teitman’s mother appears as a curtain in the window, he wears a shadow for a suit, and plays on the train tracks with a child version of his father.

Paisley Rekdal’s fourth collection of poetry, Philomela, unabashedly parallels the myth of Philomela with her own experience with violent sexual assault in a combination of verse and lyric essay. In these brave, somewhat experimental verses, Rekdal challenges the definitions of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape as she parses out her own experiences with them.

It’s the fourth volume in the Floodgate Poetry Series, edited by Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum. Chapbooks—short books under 40 pages—arose when printed books became affordable in the 16th century. The series is in the tradition of 18th and 19th century British and American literary annuals, and the Penguin Modern Poets Series of the 1960s and ’70s.


Regina DiPerna holds an MFA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Her poetry has been published in Boston Review, Missouri Review, Cincinnati Review, Passages North, Gulf Coast, Meridian, Redivider, Tinderbox and others. In 2014, she received a three-month fellowship from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residency in New Mexico. She currently lives and works in New York City, where she is hard at work on a second poetry collection.

Ryan Teitman is the author of the poetry collection Litany for the City (BOA Editions, 2012), and his awards include a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He lives in Philadelphia.

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; a hybrid-genre photo-text entitled Intimate; and five books of poetry. Her newest collection is Imaginary Vessels, and her latest nonfiction work is The Broken Country, which won the 2016 AWP Nonfiction Prize. Her work has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, Pushcart Prizes, and various state arts council awards. She teaches at the University of Utah and is Utah’s Poet Laureate.



All three poets included in the series use prose and verse forms of poetry. But what they write about, the images and metaphors they use, are as individual as themselves and their themes. Kudos to the Floodgate series for bringing these collections together, providing examples of some of the beautiful poetry being written.

—Glynn Young, “The Floodgate Poetry Series: Three Chapbooks,” tweetspeak, 27 February 2018


Regina DiPerna’s A Map of Veins begins with the photograph of a dead lover and a decomposing body. What “will he become?” the speaker asks, and in this moving sequence of elegies the lost lover is transmuted into a map—a landscape. In these intimate and ardent poems, absence is prismatic, refracted through our wide and everyday world. It lingers in a slack leather belt, the skin of a mango, and “a fortune // told in fallen leaves across / a swimming pool.” Through dream, memory, and the careful laying of words, we are granted access to the secret and trembling lives of artifacts. Ultimately, the lover revives circuitously through the earth itself, through “an animal’s expelled breath.” And through the breath that has expelled these stunning poems.

—Adam Giannelli, author of Tremulous Hinge


The love poem and the elegy share related rhetorics, movements, and emotional registers, but the primary element they share is the difficulty of their composition; every poet writes them, hardly any succeed. These elegies by Regina DiPerna rank among the most complex and moving I know. Like Mark Doty, she holds nothing back in the making of these shapely songs; like Brenda Hillman, she creates from the death of a loved one another life entire. I am instructed by this work that honors the mortality—and vitality—in each of us.

—Kathy Fagan, author of Sycamore


Every moment of Ryan Teitman’s Jesuits feels like elegy, like tribute—not only to a father but to a life that is impossible to hold “in place/ like a specimen slide.” In shapely lines, Teitman twists and troubles syntax to bring these dreams into the waking world. There is a gauze, a film, present in these poems—”light is/ thin, and clothes us/ like linen,” “a mosquito net/ of stars settles/ over town,” and “the dark is pulled/ back like a sheet/ covering a body”—but the experience feels immediate, never diffused. Jesuits hit me in the gut. I’ll go back to these poems again and again.

—Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones


“Sleep was a country / to retire to, an Ecuador” writes Ryan Teitman. Apt phrasing, as one could spend several evenings vacationing in the steam that rises from these well-wrought pages—part wistful noir, part mystic incense (“bluebottle, peat”) emanating from a thurible. Jesuits is the work of a master craftsman, wherein family, fable, faith, and form cohabitate to create art as anodyne. Holy moly are these poems dreamy, healing.

—Marcus Wicker, author of Silencer and Maybe the Saddest Thing


Compelling, appealing, cinematic . . . Rekdal refreshes the meaning and the image of being displaced in this world.

—The Boston Globe, on her book, Imaginary Vessels


Rekdal’s work deeply satisfies, for it witnesses and wonders over the necessary struggles of human awareness and being.

—Rain Taxi, on her book, Imaginary Vessels


. . . the razor’s edge that always accompanies eros that makes the poems of Paisley Rekdal fresh, intense and ultimately irresistible.

—Jay Robinson, Barn Owl Review, on her book, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope


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1 Comment

  • 1. » FG4 release day! Upper Rubber Boot Books  |  27 February 2018 at 4:46 pm

    […] we have a new book out, the gorgeous and remarkable Floodgate Poetry Series Vol. 4, including chaps by Regina DiPerna, Ryan Teitman, and Paisley Rekdal. And! Look at these two great […]


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