The Rigid Body   (September 2012)

By Gabriel Spera

ISBN: 978-0-912592-92-3

Winner of the 2011 Richard Snyder Publication Prize, selected by Natasha Tretheway

Available from:  Ashland BookstoreAmazon

Praise for The Standing Wave by Gabriel Spera:

  • "Grubbing" featured in the American Life in Poetry series, selected by Ted Kooser (August 18, 2013)
  • Reviewed in Rattle (June 6, 2013)
  • Silver Medal Winner of the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, Poetry Category
  • "Sonnet (With Children)" appeared in Every Day Poems from T.S. Poetry Press (January 24, 2013)
  • "Sonnet (With Children)" appeared on Poetry Daily (December 14, 2012)
  • "Studies for a Portrait" appeared on Verse Daily (October 21, 2012)
  • Reviewed in ForeWord Magazine (August 30, 2012)

“Spera reminds us of Elizabeth Bishop with poems so packed with metaphor we seem in 2004 almost to have forgotten how to read them... reading this book we remember that we love metaphor, love the old ways of speaking, not only in an individual voice but in the collective voice or our conscience. And when we read these poems, we know why poetry has power to reach across time and space... Readers will find in this collection of poems more than one reason to keep the book close by, to reread and sit with these wonderful and compelling jewels of language.”

– Eloise Klein Healy, William Archila, Hilda Raz, judges for the PEN Book Award

 “...Gabriel Spera tiptoes a fine line, maintaining a balance between formalism and free verse, traditional tropes and verbal originality. When Spera casts his long, clause-riddled sentences into a formal structure, the result is often spectacular. The sentences tumble down through the stanzas like downhill skiers, swerving almost breathtakingly to clip the gate of each rhyme...Spera lets himself be funny at times, sometimes crude, often violent. His verbal flourishes allow the poems to maintain a contemporary feel amidst conventional rhyme schemes. Spera’s talent is strong enough to endure the force of his influences.”

The Missouri Review

About the Author


Gabriel SperaGabriel Spera’s first collection of poetry, The Standing Wave, was selected by Dave Smith for the National Poetry Series and later received the Literary Book Award in Poetry from PEN USA-West. Additional honors include a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has a BA from Cornell University and an MFA from  the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He grew up in New Jersey and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three daughters.

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