My Husband Would

Set at the crossroads of middle age, Benjamin S. Grossberg’s fourth full-length collection of poems, My Husband Would, investigates love and family—both the families we are born into and those we create for ourselves. Funny, cinematic, and inventive, his poems recount family lore—a mother’s options, the clouded circumstances of a distant marriage—side by side with the perplexities of contemporary romance. And they are charged with the recent national legalization of same-sex marriage—for many, a radical dawning of possibility, even as it quickly becomes uncontroversial, even unremarkable, in large parts of the country. These poems show us that marriage and family are a learned project, one passed down, to be attempted by each new generation as best it can with the realities at hand. Grossberg surveys the strangeness of what our parents and families teach us about intimacy and what we ourselves learn as we stumble through the landscape of contemporary dating. He finally casts his gaze to future possibility: what we would be, would do, if we could. As Grossberg notes, amid the bustle of our lives, the relationships that help us understand who we are, those losses and discoveries, begin with the simplest impulses, like “the courage/ to go up and say hello.”

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Dimensions 6 × 9 in


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