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Shanna Compton

December 2012
Trade Paper Original
ISBN: 978-0-9826587-2-7
86 pp. | $15.00


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In her third collection, Shanna Compton offers poems for our brink times: As Texas burns, the Midwest drowns. As one planet explodes, Curiosity captures stunning panoramas of Mars. As one couple survives their hundredth argument, another slips into the silent depths of an ocean trench. The poems in Brink explore the slippage between our lives and the sensation of living inside a miniseries, insistently assuring us we're still solidly here, "amidst all this news."

Brink collects shorter poems and two sequences. A long poem called "The Seam" is forthcoming in a companion volume next year.

All three of Shanna's books are available from Bloof. (Check out the bundle deal here.)

Shanna Compton is the author of the poetry collections Down Spooky, For Girls (& Others), and several chapbooks. The Seam, a book-length speculative poem, is forthcoming in 2013. She is also the editor of a collection of essays on the topic of video games, Gamers. Her work has been widely published, including in the Best American Poetry series, Poetry Daily, Poem-A-Day/PoemFlow by the Academy of American Poets, the Awl, Black Warrior Review,  and the Poetry Foundation website.

Sample poems from Brink:

"Planets Are Pretty Big," Poetry Daily

"Back in Seaside," Academy of American Poets

"One More Favor," Open Letters Monthly

Three Poems, The Awl




In Brink, Compton flirts with disaster on every page, constantly teetering on the edge of complete chaos and devastation. [She] mixes the mundane alongside the fantastic in this collection. Mars and other planets are referenced in medias res of a couple’s arguments, shoplifting, and the common aches for adoration and perfection within the human condition. In this way, the poems suggest a futuristic landscape while also seeming so familiar that they hint towards the anxiety of a doomed future being much nearer than we would like to conceive. 

PANK, Anne Champion

Shanna Compton is one of those poets I will always read, will always eagerly anticipate the next brilliant collection to read! "Even our angst feels replaceable / as if it ebbed a little way"—yet another gem for a misunderstood world that we have been waiting to read and to know. Brink is a word we gather on top of, ready for the pictures around us to modify us into the new. Not every poet can promise this word, but it's most fitting here. The smart poets of my time have been following her all along, and we know the departure she takes with this latest collection is one we can all be excited to take with her!!


Shanna Compton's beautiful new book Brink captures the weird and dazzling collision between the suffering and the awe of contemporary existence. As if through a series of discovered polaroids, in one poem she holds up a raw and tender image of a woman isolated in "the domesticated shell," in another, she holds up a joyful white blur of something we cannot name, but recognize as our own hazy and sweet connection to the world. At once disturbing and triumphant, the poems in Brink work together to create an honest, unexpected, and fascinating lyrical exhibition of the complicated human heart.

—Ada Limón



[Q]uirky but politically pointed verse.

Publishers Weekly

[A]dept at torquing language in a way that reveals not simply multiple meanings, but multiple registers.

Rain Taxi

Vigorous, winningly smart and consistently hip. Compton shows a particular talent for love poems la C.D. Wright and D.A. Powell.

Publishers Weekly


More Shanna Compton
available from Bloof:

For Girls & Others

Down Spooky