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Systems of Vanishing

Winner of the 2013 Tampa Review Prize for Poetry

Though the poems in Systems of Vanishing range widely in their content and form, the collection as a whole is grounded in its focus on the disappearances occurring all around us, all the time. Some of these disappearances are natural, organic vanishings that have always been central to life; others are unnatural, grief-inducing losses we are inflicting on the world—the vanishing of species, of beauties of all kinds, and of the rhythms by which we live most fully, replaced by noise and a lust for things. But Hettich’s poems are also infused with a profound gratitude for the pleasures and graces of his life—the amazing natural fecundity that surrounds him in his subtropical habitat, and the abiding love of family and friends. These poems explore not only the extraordinary variety and magnitude of loss, but also the great power of resilience and joy.

Chase Twitchell says of Hettich and Systems of Vanishing, “(His) authority, which is both modest and absolutely genuine, compels us to follow him into some wild what-ifs, which make for an exciting ride. His elegy for a lost daughter brought me to tears. The quiet magic of these poems is stunning and profound.”

Richard Blanco calls Systems of Vanishing Hettich’s “most profound and intricate collection to date.”

Paperback Edition  |  $14.00

Hardback Edition  |  $25.00

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Dimensions 6 × 9 in


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Michael Hettich