John Canaday's The Invisible World holds nothing less than a world of surprises. These poems are comic, quizzical, mordant, and heartbreaking by turns. And always—beneath the trope of modesty—ambitious and assured. Among many other delights, there's the title poem, and then there's "The House of God," which adroitly take on Wordsworth and Emerson just for starters, then move on from there with linguistic aplomb into something deeper, something more: stones, deserts, the silence of God, the terrifying, consoling, vast invisible world.

— Paul Mariani

An incredibly timely book, full of intelligence, insight, and striking language.

— Linda Pastan


In these unique, beautifully made poems we see how immersion in another culture can alter our cool American regard. Now as never before we should be thirsty for the news they have to bring us.

— Mark Jarman

In his remarkably accomplished first book, The Invisible World, John Canaday has mastered many forms, such as the classical blank verse line, which he uses without ever violating his commitment to colloquial diction. And his long poem, "Impostors," written in Dantean terza rima, is truly a tour de force, a poem of great intricacy and wit, full of verbal surprises and inventiveness. This is a book of mature accomplishment that will engage anyone who delights in richness of detail and in what Wallace Stevens called "the gaiety of language".

— Robert Pack

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