“Fruitful Bewilderment”


At The New Republic, Sarah Ruhl elicits thoughts and impromptu poems from poet Max Ritvo on spirituality, performance comedy, and “Fruitful Bewilderment.” On spirituality, Ritvo says, “The first time I heard Schubert’s Agnus Dei at a Mass, it made me feel like my forehead had never belonged anywhere, but suddenly knew that it was right where it belonged, holding my face together.” Ritvo died of cancer at 25 this past August; his book, Four Reincarnations, is just out from Milkweed Editions.

And this October, we’re opening our Poetry Book Club up to the public to discuss Four Reincarnations and celebrate Max’s life. We’ll be talking about Max with each other and with the people at Milkweed who made his last book possible. Details on how to participate here.

Kirstin Allio is currently a Howard Foundation Fellow at Brown University. Her story collection, Clothed, Female Figure comes out with Dzanc in 2016. Her novel, Garner (Coffee House), was a finalist for the LA Times Book Award for First Fiction. She has received the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Award, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, and has published many short stories, poems, and essays. More from this author →