Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Erratic Facts

by Kay Ryan

Pulitzer Prize winner Kay Ryan returns with an all-new full-length collection of poems. “Witty, rebellious, and yet tender, [her poetry is] a treasure trove of an iconoclastic and joyful mind.” (Pulitzer Prize citation)

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 80
  • Publication Date October 11, 2016
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2554-5
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $15.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 80
  • Publication Date October 06, 2015
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2405-0
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $24.00

About The Book

Erratic Facts, Kay Ryan’s first collection since the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Best of It, offers sixty-plus new examples of her swift, lucid style. Ryan examines enormous subjects with compact poems in which sly rhymes and syncopation lend an off-foot musicality to unnerving wisdom. These poems demonstrate the same quick-fire brain-work that has animated her verse for the last thirty years, in ways more daring than ever.


“[Kay Ryan] has created a body of work of intellectual rigor and joy unmatched in her time. Her neatly carpentered verses, with their disassembled rhyming couplets and floating rhetorical questions, are the poetry world’s neutron stars. You can read around and through them endlessly and they never lose their luminosity or virtue. The more you read them the greater their pull becomes.” —John Freeman, ZYZZYVA

Erratic Facts shows how poetry can shift a reader’s thinking. Ryan’s pithy writing moves swiftly . . . demonstrating how the human mind dislikes change, sometimes behaves like a wild animal, yet can be sharpened despite blunt blows. . . . [Ryan] draws from science and art as she journeys through the landscape of memory, consciousness, loss and love. As with all her work, these poems are clear and lucid.” —Washington Post

“There is something different about this collection that sets it apart from the seven before it . . . [yet] Ryan is still doing what she has always done, getting at the mechanics and processes and thrills of the mind.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Ryan’s tight, crisp writing makes the subject matter fascinating . . . The collection reveals many of the mind’s tricks and quirks, such as finding comfort in limitation, not taking action right away, and believing the illusion that things that stay in place are secure or firmly planted . . . she also concludes that love is important and that light can dispel some darkness.” —Christian Science Monitor

“It is revitalizing to read Ryan’s succinct poems—word columns build like cairns on the otherwise blank and silent wilderness of the page—and experience the precisely walloping impact of her uncommon observations, philosophical realizations, and significant wit. Read a poem once and take in its crisp rhythms, subtle rhymes, and arresting images. Read it again and detect its hide-and-seek metaphors and meanings. . . . [Ryan’s] quantum poems pose resonant questions of physics and metaphysics, of attentiveness and caring on scales intimate and universal.” —Booklist

“Ryan teases out thoughts with shifting rhyme schemes as her poems display their alluring logic and peculiar practicality . . . each instance Ryan captures and examines reveals the darkness beneath its charming veneer . . . readers make new discoveries and then discover what’s been lost.” —Publishers Weekly

“A metaphor here, a colloquialism turned on its ear there—[these poems] do what poetry does so well: make us see our world a little differently, force us to think. . . . Erratic Facts reflects a great poet still standing on her peak. The wise, frisky and concise poems . . . reinforce her already stellar reputation.” —Shelf Awareness