WINNER of The Twelfth Annual (2017) Believer Book Award
A gripping, eerie, and hilarious novel-in-verse from poet Matthew Rohrer. In a Russian-doll of fictional episodes, we follow an entry-level publishing assistant over the course of a day as he encounters ghost stories, science fiction adventures, Victorian hashish eating, and robot bigfoots. Rohrer mesmerizes with wildly imaginative tales and resonant verse in this compelling love letter to storytelling.
Tumbling from one speaker to the next, Matthew Rohrer’s dreamlike novel-in-verse harkens back to a time when poetic language was used, principally, to tell stories. It is experimental and strange but not in a way that alienates its readers. Whether Rohrer’s characters are riding the F train in midtown Manhattan, high in nineteenth-century France, or fending off robot bigfeet, his masterful attention to detail and rhythm absorbs and engages. Each narrative emerges from the one that precedes it, like a Russian nesting doll, producing a sensation of spacious expansion and laying bare the manner by which narratives absorb and give birth to each other. This is a book of trapdoors and weird trips and special delights.
The Believer, Believer Book Award Notification
You should read The Others. It'll do things to you.
John Maher, Publishers Weekly, Staff Pick
Over the past year, I found Elisa Gabbert, Sarah Manguso and Matthew Rohrer to have made some life-changing books of poetry—especially Rohrer’s book “The Others,” which goes from one vision to the next in a breathtaking way.
Andrew Sean Greer, PBS News Hour
Reading this book is like opening a door to a room and then opening a door within that room to another room and then opening a door within that room to another room and then—you get the point. It’s also: funny, mind-altering, occasionally spooky, and a conceptually brilliant reminder that our lives are filled with stories every single day.
Allie Wuest, Catapult
Wonderfully ambitious and fully realized, Rohrer’s The Others engages similar questions of readerly participation and, more specifically, the cultivation of a shared consciousness through art. In the book’s sprawling fictive terrain, the constant presence of the other within the self—that eternal alterity—is a shadow story that haunts the narrative proper. As the work unfolds, it is this secret, hidden most of all from the speaker of the poem, that is gradually revealed, understood, and dramatized beautifully in the style of the writing itself.
Kristina Marie Darling, Los Angeles Review of Books
The Others unfolds in layers of both complexity of content and technique, beginning in a seemingly simple, straightforward way, developing deeper ideas behind the scenes. . . . Thankfully, Rohrer's skillful storytelling never leaves the reader behind, no matter how far off course from the morning commute his protagonist travels.
Andrew Miller, Yes Poetry
Matthew Rohrer is the author of The Sky Contains the Plans (Wave Books, forthcoming 2020), The Others (Wave Books, 2017), which was the winner of the 2017 Believer Book Award, Surrounded by Friends (Wave Books, 2015), Destroyer and Preserver (Wave Books, 2011), A Plate of Chicken (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), Rise Up (Wave Books, 2007) and A Green Light (Verse Press, 2004), which was shortlisted for the 2005 Griffin Poetry Prize. He is also the author of Satellite (Verse Press, 2001), and co-author, with Joshua Beckman, of Nice Hat. Thanks. (Verse Press, 2002), and the audio CD Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and The Next Big Thing. His first book, A Hummock in the Malookas was selected for the National Poetry Series by Mary Oliver in 1994. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and teaches at NYU.
Publication Date: May 2, 2017
ISBN# 9781940696409 (5x7.5 248pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781940696416 (5x7.5 248pp, limited edition hardcover)