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Poetry by Lightsey Darst

Passages in life that have felt forbidden, overwritten, underwritten, silenced are given voice in Darst’s precise, rich, confessional poems. 

November 2017

6 x 9 | 104 Pages
Trade Paper

Thanks to a 2013 ADA Access Improvement Grant administered by VSA Minnesota for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, this title is also formatted for screen readers which make text accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

To purchase this title for use with a screen reader please call (612) 338-0125 or email us at

ISBN: 978-1-56689-492-0.




“Snow as metaphor for everything
lower than the predicted low
in this my last February of loving you
here (a rhyme begun in one
poem may be landed in a later one).”


“For Darst, to remember is to claim ownership of one’s pain and, by extension, one’s humanity.” —Publishers Weekly

“One of the [Thousands]’s strengths is how Darst weaves quotations, dates, and places into her work, making attributions in the margins. It allows the reader to feel both intimately involved as an observer, but also, somehow, present… this is a collection in which all readers will recognize something, if in nothing else then in the humanity of the poet herself.” —Paris Review

“Related in meditative, crystal-cut language, her realization that she’s fallen into things pushes her onward, and just as her self-reflection gets wearing, she opens up to the world. A poet to watch; poetry lovers will want to dig in.” —Library Journal

“Darst’s intimacy here is masterful: whether it is love, lust, pregnancy, or words…” —The Millions

“…[Thousands] has an intimacy about it that speaks to the tenderness inside the reader… Don’t be surprised if there’s a catch in your throat when you read.” —Signature Reads

“As they carve their way through this markedly contemporary landscape, Darst’s readers will likely have trouble separating the dreams, desires, and fears the speaker expresses from their own—the text of these poems is everything you might catch yourself thinking, and everything you might hope someone else could share with you.” —Arkansas International

These poems are utterly feminist in that they are utterly human—unapologetically clear about what happened, how it happened, and how Darst felt (or didn’t). A radical account relayed with utter and beautiful transparency.” —1508 (University of Arizona Poetry Center Blog)

“Dear fear, dear darkness, dear misunderstandings, dear life, dear lost-in-myself, I am no longer afraid of you. Now I have this book. I have Lightsey Darst’s amazing and ecstatic meditation on being a person in the world, I have these poems to guide me, I have her bravery and wild mind, I have her spells and wisdom, I have these incredible poems to carry with me wherever I go.” —Matthew Dickman

“Lightsey Darst’s ability to find astonishment within and without—to lift the story of many varied days inside a set of years inside and outside of a marriage, a love affair, and a pregnancy—until it sings with revelation, drew me into Thousands immediately and never let go. Thrillingly unafraid to state what women are often dismissed for stating, Darst elevates language into something so wholly artful that neither the poems nor the grit can be denied. In Thousands, Darst takes longing and ecstasy and melancholy and doubt back from the patriarchy to write toward the canon of the future.” —Lynn Melnick