Skip to content

“Echoing originals”: CHIASMUS by Zack Finch and Enrico Riley

Fourth and Verse Books is very excited to announce our next project:  Chiasmus. The chapbook is a collaboration between visual artist Enrico Riley and poet Zack Finch, and will be available in Spring 2013. The repetitions and reversals between Riley’s drawings and Finch’s poems create pieces that are not ekphrastic—or reverse-ekphrastic—but created, and experienced, in tandem. As one poem puts it: “As if this drifts between fates, between bodies, languages not / strangers to one another, echoing originals…”

Riley’s flint-edged abstractions on graph-paper backdrops float like the  arrowheads and potsherds of contemporary signage; a star chart whose reference is mysterious. Sometimes translating the adjacent poem’s shape, or, as in “The Signal,” blipping across the page like a Morse Code rendering, the images are always evocative. Finch’s carefully-hewn poems are frequently polyvocal and somehow transmitted—“As night with its lit signs might, its occasional skeet of sound: the pluck of yes, from the sea of ex, at the fringes of intention…” These constellations of astoundingly turned (and tuned) phrases demand reading and rereading.

Finch and Riley both teach at Dartmouth College. Zack earned his MFA from Warren Wilson College and his Phd in the poetics program at SUNY-Buffalo. His poetry and criticism has appeared in such journals as Boston Review, Fence, Green Mountains Review, Gulf Coast, Jacket, Tin House, and Poetry. Enrico earned his MFA at Yale and has been the subject of several solo exhibitions, as well as the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship (among many other honors).

Chiasmus will be available in Spring 2013, with much gratitude to the support of the Cornell Council for the Arts.

From Melissa Goodrich’s chapbook IF YOU WHAT


The slots in the sky are birdcages, or

She tells me that birds perched black roses, birds perched on powerlines,

Birds legs electricity jolts through easy as rivers. She says when coyotes.

She says what are we doing under this tree, where are the feathers.

Her mind is an unlocked.

Her mind a cursive ‘l,’ her mouth a cursive.

When coyotes almost die crawl across the river (empty as a bed but why). She says

Dress the windows in. She says it is very.

And I lean. I am not sure where she’ll land or

Land is uncertain because sometimes the ocean it gobbles and sometimes

The land, it’s short. She says If I.

I nod. If you what.


 An MFA candidate at the University of Arizona, Melissa Goodrich writes, teaches, and sips lemonade in the heady heart of Tucson.  Her poems have received the Academy of American Poets Prize, the University of Arizona Foundation Award, and the Juliet Gibson Memorial Award.  She also writes fiction.  Go figure.