In Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems, Elaine Equi consolidates thirty years of practicing and perfecting her unique brand of expansive minimalism. As a lover of clarity, wit, and elegance, the aphorism, proverb, haiku, and caption are among her favorite modes of expression. Her poems are quick, yet they also linger long after the first reading because in each of them she has distilled a wide range of literary influences, from classical Chinese, to Surrealist, Objectivist, concrete poetry, New York School, and more. Pop and approachable, erudite and subtle—Equi continues to dazzle with her sophisticated and sly wit.
2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
2008 Griffin Poetry Prize Finalist
“Deft, delicate, subversive, and more quotable than any American poet who comes to mind.” —August Kleinzahler
“For thirty years Elaine Equi’s alchemical poems have made dark magic from kitsch, from the burnt-out dead ends of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Ripple Effect brings them together in a way that makes us look with increased vigilance at the totems of our culture.” —Rae Armantrout
“Elaine Equi’s narrow lines are like the rungs of a ladder that one ascends while one is descending them. It’s a motion like that in Wang Wei’s lines, ‘Stars / float up / toward dawn,’ which she quotes in her cento, ‘Wang Wei’s Moon.’ Or, as she beautifully puts it, ‘Discreetly a breeze enters the room.’” —John Ashbery