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Dark Souvenirs

Dark Souvenirs

By John AmenPublisher: New York QuarterlyISBN: 978-1-63045-108-0Genre: PoetryPrice: 16.95 (advance)

John Amen's Dark Souvenirs was prompted by the suicide of his uncle, Richard Sassoon. Amen seeks clarity around Sassoon's death while expressing grief over the sudden and violent loss. The poems, however, quickly expand to include imaginative leaps, Amen diving into broader familial and cultural dynamics. In various poems, Amen recasts Sassoon as his brother, his son, a stranger he meets in random places, and a teacher who graced him and the world with a unique brand of wisdom, madness, and humor. Throughout his sixth collection, Amen navigates stunning imagery, memorable declarations, and language that shimmers with signature musicality.


John Amen is the author of five collections of poetry, including Illusion of an Overwhelm, finalist for the 2018 Brockman-Campbell Award, and work from which was chosen as a finalist for the 2018 Dana Award. He was the recipient of the 2021 Jack Grapes Poetry Prize. His poems and prose have appeared recently in Rattle, Prairie Schooner, American Literary Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and Los Angeles Review, and his poetry has been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. His music, literary, and film reviews appear widely in such publications as Colorado Review, No Depression, Beats Per Minute, and PopMatters. He founded and is managing editor of Pedestal Magazine. His new collection, Dark Souvenirs, will be released by New York Quarterly Books in 2024.