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If I Should Say I Have Hope by Lynn Melnick (Digital)


Cover Art: Zoe Crosher
Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer
96 pages
December 2012, ISBN 978-1-936919-12-3


In my worries I am plummeting down steps,
industrial, medieval, breezy welcome

stairs like little landings where a foot could catch.
In some nightmares my breasts are so misshapen

they are no longer mammalian, quite,
this inevitable evolution we can’t call progress.

Those mornings I wake exactly as I fell,
a little upright, on my back, static and sweaty

and always next to you. Call it relief
to find everything as it was, though one summer I fell up

and up and up and it was a good lesson
in the sham of gravity.

And once, when we found ourselves in another summer
overlooking an entire city, we thought

we couldn’t get older or higher,
though in my worries I am both, and falling.

If I Should Say I Have Hope by Lynn Melnick (Digital)

SKU: 0300039
  • About If I Should Say I Have Hope

    One of Coldfront’s Top 40 Poetry Books, 2012


    On the melancholy-go-round of these poems, there’s a swan-seat for sadness but also a tiger called Beauty and a horse called Hope.


    —Matthea Harvey


    Demandingly charming, consistently unpredictable, Melnick’s debut asks for notice at first for its language, whose glitter casts Melnick as both sophisticate and ingénue, “gleaming with what I wanted/to be.” Its surfaces place her firmly in this century, far from the transparencies of memoir, and yet, on rereading, subjects emerge—principally a Southern California adolescence in part imagined, in part misspent.


    Publisher’s Weekly


    Lynn Melnick’s poems recall the raw power of Anne Sexton and read like Lynchian dreams. The voice of these poems proves consistent and potent, steeping the book in weather and worry, in impulse and flesh, sometimes in blood. . . and all demand recognition of truth, of human details we might rather deny.


    —Melinda Wilson, Coldfront

  • About Lynn Melnick

    Lynn Melnick is the author of Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (2015). Her poetry has appeared in APRThe New RepublicThe New YorkerThe Paris ReviewA Public Space, and elsewhere, and she has written essays and book reviews for Boston ReviewLA Review of Books, and Poetry Daily, among others. A 2017-2018 fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, she teaches poetry at the 92Y. Born in Indianapolis, she grew up in Los Angeles and currently lives in Brooklyn. 

  • Reviews & Interviews

    Review at Publisher’s Weekly 

    Review by Carol Muske-Dukes at The Huffington Post

    Review by Ed Bennett at Quill & Parchment

    Review by Melinda Wilson at Coldfront, Top 40 Poerty Books 2012


    Interview at Brooklyn Poets

    Interview with Mary Jo Bang at Guernica Magazine

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