Sentences and Rain

Poetry by Elaine Equi

October 13, 2015 • 6 x 9 • 112 Pages • 978-1-56689-421-0

Equi’s poems are under the breath asides from your cleverest friend—witty, thoughtful, and wry.

Elaine Equi’s poems are asides from your cleverest friend, taking on the world with wit, confidence, and the ease of a writer fully in command of her powers. She writes “We are the excess of the story—that which it cannot contain” and in short, memorable lines that excess pops into relief, suddenly captured, visible.

About the Author

Elaine Equi, author of Click and Clone (Coffee House Press, 2011), was born in Oak Park, Illinois, and raised in Chicago and its outlying suburbs. In 1988, she moved to New York City with her husband poet Jerome Sala. Over the years, her witty, aphoristic, and innovative work has become nationally and internationally known. Her last book, Ripple Effect: New & Selected Poems, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and on the short list for Canada’s prestigious Griffin Poetry Prize.

Among her other titles are Surface Tension, Decoy, Voice-Over, which won the San Francisco State University Poetry Center Award, and The Cloud of Knowable Things. Widely published and anthologized, her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Nation, and numerous volumes of The Best American Poetry. She teaches at New York University, and in the MFA Programs at the New School and the City College of New York.

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 info@coffeehousepress.org.


“Equi relishes the stark, overlooked beauty of the quotidian in her curious, winding, fanciful 13th collection.” Publishers Weekly

“[Equi is] genuinely funny—like all genuine humorists, she has depth, she picks targets, she’s patient, she takes aim. . . . Equi gives us several drawing boards’ worth of characters, or friendly caricatures, framed in a wry, almost lighthearted nostalgia.” American Poets

“Equi is here to remind us that our relationship to the objects in our lives can invite us to play, and to engender a new language: private, public, or something in between.” —Coldfront

“Witty and zen-like. . . . Each poem in this collection does the same thing. They build in insight and delight. Sentences and Rain is truly a masterwork that deserves to be read and disseminated through the population and through time.” NewPages

“[Equi’s poetry is] a gentle exercise in verbal gymnastics which delights the intelligence while at the same time not taking things too seriously. She stretches our imagination by writing lines that constantly surprise us and then makes us pause, as if holding a position, in order to ponder their meaning.” Galatea Resurrects

“This bold and polished book of poetry is refreshing in its language and startling in its images. From the expected to the surprising, Equi has a sharp eye for detail in the world around her, and a keen way of capturing the moment for readers.” Manhattan Book Review

“This collection will add breadth and depth to any personal library. The breezy tone of these thoughtfully crafted poems belies their underlying seriousness. . . . Equi’s elegantly charged sentences will continue to reverberate in the mind and in the heart.” New York Journal of Books

“Equi invites the reader to join her in spaces where the surreal becomes commonplace, where reality gives way to magical realism. . . . In these liminal spaces, she suggests there is both/and, reality and magic, and the reader does not have to choose either/or.” Boston Review

“In this tense and terse collection of verse, the poet diminishes language and Western culture to its essence, the distilled acidity of its very bones.” Red Paint Hill

“[Equi’s] writing is both fluid and agile; there’s a free-flowing quality to it but also a sense of composed wit. Equi’s collection is an unabashed celebration of the pleasures of language.” Harvard Crimson

“If you can imagine it, you can probably find it here in one of Equi’s lists of objects both real and surreal.” Library Journal

"On every page of Sentences and Rain, Elaine Equi’s latest collection of poetry, you will find . . . pages thrumming with the activity of an original imagination.” KGB Bar Lit Magazine

“These spare yet elegant poems are electric, suave, and original. Equi so ably demonstrates a purity of sensibility coupled with peerless brilliance that we are left breathless as we read.” The Journal (West Virginia)

“If there is a secret joy informing Equi’s poetry, it is in the way she accepts the world as it is, without quarrel and without illusions except those that are sanctioned by art. Like a still-life specialist she gets you to see not only the red flesh of the watermelon but the beauty of the black seeds on it.” Best American Poetry