Paperback / softback
April 3, 2015
10.00 Inches (US)
7.00 Inches (US)
.35 Pounds (US)
$15.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror


The first book of poetry from David Kutz-Marks. Guided by long and musical lines with quickly shifting forms of discourse and reference, these poems challenge our identities, our thoughts, and our quarrels with each other as they dart back and forth between interior spaces and real human relationships.

About the Author

David Kutz-Marks earned a BA in English language and literature from the University of Chicago and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. He was recently the featured poet for Verse Daily and The Paris-American, and his poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Kenyon Review Online, Western Humanities Review, Rattle, The Carolina Quarterly, Devil's Lake, and Meridian. Kutz-Marks lives in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, with his partner and their two children. Please see his website at


"'Like a little mortal coil moonlighting as a halo / trying to eat his own tail in a city with no other light,' the voice that propels David Kutz-Marks's Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror is tightly wound up with potential energies that, when released, unfurl into wildly kinetic verse. The metaphysical theatricality of Wallace Stevens, the artful tenderness of James Merrill, and the formal politics of John Ashbery all converge here in a debut of uncommon brio and pluck. Like the northern flicker, whose oculus he describes as 'brilliant / and vacuous and moving as a prism,' Kutz-Marks regards the world with an eye that is—simultaneously, amazingly—transparent, auroral, and ever on the go.'"—Srikanth Reddy, Program in Poetry and Poetics at the University of Chicago

"We tend to turn to poetry—as poetry itself turns—to honor, investigate, propose, court, grieve, and speculate, and all these things happen with purpose in Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror. With this book Kutz-Marks amplifies what might have been and what might be."—Dara Wier, author of Hat on a Pond

"The long, winding sentences that prevail in Violin Playing Herself in a Mirror might begin with Episcopal swimmers 'fluting their bodies and fluting their hands' then move through the phases of the moon before landing on 'the eye of a horse on the quilt' behind which we discover 'a child, growing up into a car.' The logic that drives these transitions is itself always shifting, transforming (from narrative to visual, from associative to surreal), but Kutz-Marks's dexterous musicality and surefooted structural sense never fail to hold his montages together and his audience at the edge of its seats. Refrain, parallelism, and other forms of repetition and doubling (nodded to twice in the book's title alone) reinforce the work's feeling of seamless enchantment, making Kutz-Marks's debut one of the most artfully uncanny and hypnotically beautiful collections in recent memory."—Timothy Donnelly, author of Twenty-seven Props for a Production of Eine Lebenszeit, and The Cloud Corporation
University of Massachusetts Press
Juniper Prize for Poetry

9781625341488 : violin-playing-herself-in-a-mirror-kutz-marks
Paperback / softback
72 Pages
$15.95 USD

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