The Low Passions  (W.W. Norton)

Explosive and incantatory, The Low Passions traces the fringes of the American experiment through the eyes of a young drifter. Pathologically frugal, reckless, and vulnerable, the narrator of these viscerally compelling poems hops freight trains, hitchhikes, dumpster dives, and sleeps in the homes of total strangers, scavenging forgotten and hardscrabble places for tangible forms of faith. Amplified by a chorus of monologues from the strangers who shelter him and the family he’s left behind, a range of strong-willed characters takes shape—made manifest by the poet’s devoted ear and sensitive eye.

The Low Passions is an ode to America, the distances between place and people, the desire to quiet the self in order to better hear the world. Shaped through glimpses of a life in motion, these poems rattle along with energy and awe like the trains that fill these pages. If the work feels wild, there is also a feeling of tenderness as Anders Carlson-Wee reflects on childhood and brotherhood, what family means, and how a stranger can feel like family. The Low Passions reminds us to go out each day in wonder, ready for the unknown to call to us.” Dorianne Laux, Author of ONLY AS THE DAY IS LONG

 “‘If you don’t live it,’ Charlie Parker said of his own music, ‘it won’t come out of your horn.’ Anders Carlson-Wee is a balladeer who has certainly lived his song. The Low Passions makes a Walden Pond of the railyard and cornucopias of every dumpster behind a strip mall. It paints portraits akin to those of James Agee, but to be captivated by them solely is to risk overlooking the urgency of experience in this debut collection. As terror drives the sublime and duende keeps one cold foot in the grave, these poems are as chilling as they are electrifying. Yet the perils of life off the grid are relieved by the light of inexplicable kindnesses discovered along the way. Through it all is the ever-loving American landscape, divine and brutal as Dillard’s Tinker Creek.” Gregory Pardlo, Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author of DIGEST



          Winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Prize

"Riveting and action-driven, showcasing a bold new voice"  —The Adroit Journal

"The most urgent, tightly-paced narratives I’ve read in recent memory" —Story South


Two-Headed Boy

          Winner of the David Blair Memorial Chapbook Prize

"The poetry I’ve been waiting my whole life to read"  —Laura Kasischke

"I love how hard this book looks at the physical world, and how that looking turns into music" —Ross Gay


Mercy Songs

"These brothers speak to one another in a private language made lyric, made public, knowing no matter who they meet along the way, no one will ever know them as intimately as they know one another" —Dorianne Laux

"This is a wholly unique and powerful collection of poems" —Maurice Manning