Why We Chose Katie Ford’s If You Have to Go for the Rumpus Poetry Book Club


We’re very excited to share that we’ll be reading Katie Ford’s new collection, If You Have to Go, forthcoming from Graywolf Press on August 7, as our July Poetry Book Club selection!

The poems in Katie Ford’s fourth collection implore their audience―the divine and the human―for attention, for revelation, and, perhaps above all, for companionship. The extraordinary sequence at the heart of this book taps into the radical power of the sonnet form, bending it into a kind of metaphysical and psychological outcry. Beginning in the cramped space of selfhood―in the bedroom, cluttered with doubts, and in the throes of marital loss―these poems edge toward the clarity of “what I can know and admit to knowing.” In song and in silence, Ford inhabits the rooms of anguish and redemption with scouring exactness. This is poetry that “can break open, // it can break your life, it will break you // until you remain.”

To receive your copy of If You Have to Go, read along with the Poetry Book Club, and participate in our exclusive chat with Katie Ford, subscribe to the Rumpus Poetry Book Club by June 20!

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