North American Titles

Lisa Samuels - Paradise for Everyone


Lisa Samuels - Paradise for Everyone

Paperback, 96pp, 9x6ins 
Download a PDF sampler from this book here.

A first UK, and second full-length US collection for this talented American writer. In addition to poetry, she has published work on modernist and contemporary writers, on intellectual property in the humanities, and on critical practices.


"The wonderful poems in Lisa Samuels's Paradise for Everyone have about them the alertness and vivacity that belong to the world of the newly discovered (and the newly discovering). It is Samuels's great gift that she can find realities anew at every phrase, and her own position among them curious. She examines distinctions—the features that make things different. She makes certain (however briefly) that what she cares about still exists. She reminds us, her readers, that anything that can recur is amazing. This is a deeply intelligent and lovely book—a book of encounters that may also serve as a manual for encountering." (Lyn Hejinian)

"Lisa Samuels' Paradise for Everyone contains 43 poems and they are in 43 different forms. This isn't the only thing that distantly recalls Browning's Men and Women, another triumph of universalist optimism. As with that great collection, you can spend days revelling in the fullness and variety of Samuels' offerings, and you can also spend a few darker moments working on the nagging sense of limitation. Cataloguing Samuels' forms requires a somewhat different vocabulary from Browning's; instead of trochee and triple-rhyme, we need to talk about parentheses, non-stanzaic spacing (of lines or words), justification, page dimensions, particles, French words, nonce-words and the letter U. Oh, and iambics – occasionally. Sweep referentiality out of the door, and an unemployed music creeps in at the window. There's some plainer examples in the book… but I'm not talking here about ruthless regularity of the sort that the New Formalists have always been content with…" (Michael Peverett, Stride magazine)

"Tantalising, enchanting and strangely addictive might describe the best of Lisa Samuel's Paradise For Everyone, a tastefully produced book from Shearsman. Reading Samuels is a little like chasing a phantom lover through a maze. Each time you turn a corner she is turning the next. You are convinced that if you could catch her you would finally understand the great secret of the universe. Although you know that this is impossible, you keep chasing, desire intensified by each glimpse of her you have. Paradise promised is always just out of reach. The whole is pervaded by a haunting, fragmentary lyricism, which contains a plea for us to see the beauty and worth of those parts of ourselves that we would rather disown." (Ian Seed, Exultations and Difficulties)


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