cover of book

No One Leaves the World Unhurt
by John Foy
Autumn House Press, 2021
Paper: 978-1-938769-75-7 | eISBN: 978-1-938769-78-8

John Foy’s newest collection is a tour de force of formal poetry, offering a blend of wit, cleverness, and deftness. Working in the lineage of poets like Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Frank O’Hara, W. H. Auden, and Elizabeth Bishop, Foy probes everyday experiences to generate compassionate, clever, and deeply knowing verse. While moments in No One Leaves the World Unhurt may appear absurd or even funny on the surface—such as a psychological exploration of the Lord of the Rings character Gollum—beneath this lightheartedness lies a tone that is grim and foreboding. Foy satirizes various elements of contemporary society, reflecting on war, wandering through the Museum of Sex in New York with his wife, and plucking apart idiomatic speech, which he breaks down, saying “It is what it is. / It’s not what it might have been.” Influenced by pop art and fine art and his New York home, which forms the backdrop of many of these poems, Foy’s vibrant collection is simultaneously philosophical, whimsical, serious, and searching.

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