Shoulder Season

Poetry by Ange Mlinko

April 1, 2010 • 6 x 9 • 82 pages • 978-1-56689-243-8

Exacting, virtuosic lyrics on surviving tough times.

With a title that plays upon “shouldering” one’s burden, this equally fanciful and hard-hitting collection captures the uncertainties and economic turmoil of 21st century life, where the mind might still be “a little spa,” but the future “is hedged against the / boys who died.” Like the New Yorker said of her last collection, “[Mlinko’s] intoxicating, cerebral poems display a unique sense of humor and mystery.”

About the Author

Ange Mlinko, born in Philadelphia and a longtime New York resident, is the author of Starred Wire and Shoulder Season and now lives in Beirut. She writes a regular column on language for the Nation and in 2009, she received the Randall Jarrell Award for Criticism from the Poetry Foundation. Poems from this collection have appeared in the Nation, New Yorker, London Review of Books, Poetry magazine, and elsewhere.


“On balance it is easy to accept the primacy Mlinko gives to language, as the book is guaranteed by such an activated and gung-ho verbal intelligence that it is only a question of where its successes will be.” Poetry

“Half John Ashbery, half Harriet the Spy. . . . Mlinko is writing down the economically anxious, information-rich, malleable, volatile generation.” Believer

“Sharp, entertaining, and engaging. . . . Mlinko’s poetry lives in the present and describes it with a chilling accuracy.” New Pages Book Review

“There is a meditative quality to Mlinko’s poetry; it’s an invitation to slow down and let the edges blur. . . . The poems are intricate and subtle in their meaning, musical with a finely orchestrated cadence.” Feminist Review

“Pirouetting beyond fields plowed and sown by Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, James Schuyler, and Alice Notley, Ange Mlinko is creating her own space in the world of poetry. . . . This may be the Shoulder Season, yet no one has to go slumping through it without a little ecstasy.” Galatea Resurrects

“This is poetry of the information age, and not just because of the terms Mlinko uses or the experiences she recounts. Her poems convey a sense of of distraction among plentitude, with ideas images, and anecdotes giving way to one another via quick associations. It all adds up to a poetry that’s slippery, probing, and restlessly erudite. . . . These are clever poems, even showy—for Mlinko, that’s; an act of generosity and fun, not a failure of modesty. It’s as if she’s egging us on to hurry up and live a little.” Pleiades

“In Ange Mlinko’s Shoulder Season observation and metaphor are always on edge. . . . The poems are at once formally engaged, playful, and disturbing. It’s a wild ride and a great read.” —Rae Armantrout