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Transversales by Michael Gessner

Price: $16.00

Transversales Michael Gessner BlazeVOX [books]

The poems in Michael Gessner’s new collection, Transversales, are formally dazzling—incisive, witty, and smart—but compassion tempers linguistic brilliance. In a series set in Paris, for instance, a visit (against advice) to the “labyrinth of tented markets,” the now-dangerous Market of Seine-Saint-Denis, is punctuated dramatically by fragmented quotations from Victor Hugo’s diary kept during the siege of Paris (1871). Quite simply, I am hooked on this book. Gessner’s poems are glory.

—Cynthia Hogue, author of Or Consequence

There’s music of the mind in Michael Gessner’s Transversales, the investigating intelligence and haunting observations of a flâneur out of Walter Benjamin whose path time travels and intersects the lines of other alienated realities. A deft mastery marks these poems. “The Markets of Seine-Saint-Denis” is a kind of tour de force; a trip to the “home of the homeless” where both the past and the present “are eating the unknown.” I am haunted by his imagery, as when he evokes the rain as “the patterings of an unknown companion, lost and distant, now returned to wrap this house in sheets of itself.” I am struck by his poetic intelligence, as his lines intersect us with a sense of a beingness that is everywhere “political, which means the beast is in costume.”

—Rebecca Seiferle, author of Wild Tongue

Michael Gessner, a former Andrew Mellon professor at the University of Arizona, and Honors Program director at Central Arizona College, lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, and their dog, “Irish.” His work has been featured in American Letters & Commentary, American Literary Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Oxford Magazine, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Web del Sol, and others. His poems have been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and as finalists for “Discovery”/The Nation, and the Pablo Neruda Award. Other information, including book publications, reviews, and readings may be found at:, or

Book Information:

· Paperback: 102 pages

· Binding: Perfect-Bound

· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books] 

· ISBN: 978-1-60964-147-4