About the Book:

Layered and nuanced, the poems of Lost City Museum submerge us in worlds fashioned out of our world. We find ourselves in sea or fog, in petrified lava, in glass, in night, in an organ’s pipes of bones. And always, always, we are submerged in language that rouses and compels. These are deeply inhabited landscapes, precise and perceptive. It’s such a pleasure to lose oneself in Lost City Museum that one might wish never to be found. —Beth Ann Fennelly, Poet Laureate of Mississippi

Stacey Balkun writes insatiably curious and fearless poems, like a deep-sea diver or oceanographer showing us a new world. Lost City Museum excavates underwater cities, the ocean floor, a father’s death, a marriage, and the body with boundless talent and an ocean-sized heart. Balkun crafts poems like underwater treasures brought to the surface, like museum artifacts housed in glass. “This is how to swim and still feel holy,” she instructs, and we do. You’ll feel new. The ambitious discoveries in these poems are a pure delight. —Lee Herrick, Poet Laureate of Fresno, CA

Stacey Balkun’s Lost City Museum navigates the depths of grief while simultaneously singing everywhere shining new love. This poet’s power is her precision—of language, of image, of the heart’s buried maps. These are poems that rise like “prayer // turned-paper-boat cast out into the ocean.” They support “a jetty built from an old graveyard, invented land // jutted like jawbone.” Balkun is a cartographer building her own Atlantis, and we are lucky to enter her world: for admission she’ll only charge “a handful of pennies / and a promise to dive / after them.”—Jenn Givhan, author of Landscape with Headless Mama