Naming the Lifeboat



Out at sea, it’s bad luck to name a lifeboat, but in poetry—what great fortune to have this craft named and afloat in the world. In these pages, Justin Gardiner navigates rough waters, desolate wildernesses, and fires set before us by both fate and our own hearts. These poems seek to “illuminate only what is out of reach,” and this book makes those mysteries a little easier to hold in your hands. ~Matthew Olzmann

With an explorer’s precision, Justin Gardiner documents a “lifetime of leaving” in poems that move from remote canyons and ice caves to the terrifying wilds of the mind. What if our greatest journeys are “another way… of holding [our] real life at a distance”? How do we find our way home? A masterful reckoning with the past, the present, and the mysteries of familial and romantic love, Naming the Lifeboat is a tour de force. ~Chelsea Rathburn

To be published in August, 2020.  Available for pre-order through Main Street Rag,