Ripple Effect

Poetry by Elaine Equi

April 1, 2007 • 6 x 9 • 270 pages • 978-1-56689-197-4

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.

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, the American Poetry Review, the 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.


“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