A friend holding her copy of (CREATURE SOUNDS FADE)

The official publication date is now November 15, but copies are back from the printer and Black Lawrence has started shipping out the preorders!

I’m thinking of some alternate ways to virtually celebrate, since I can’t do the reading trips I’d originally planned. (Turns out I’m not really all that comfortable on Zoom, reading to an empty room! Not to mention the lack of closed captions, which are kinda essential, considering. It’s such an odd time to try to launch the thing, but here we are, and it’s a bright spot in this dark, weird, disconnected year.)

If you’d like a copy, see Black Lawrence Press or SPD. Here are the links:

Closed Caption collage series

I’m working on a series of 50 collages using found imagery and closed-caption sound effects, which will be going to the first 50 people to preorder (CREATURE SOUNDS FADE) from Black Lawrence. A visual take on the method behind many of the poems in the book, the sound effects are more disjunctive in the collages, in the same way they often lag in realtime or live video, referring to imagery that has already flicked off screen. Each is 5 x 7 inches. There are more details (and alt text descriptions) at Instagram.

(This post will be updated as I go.)

(CREATURE SOUNDS FADE) now available for preorder

Cover painting: “until the end of the world” by Kim Kimbro

It has a cover! And I love it.

Everything is weird & all my launch events have been canceled or postponed indefinitely, but I am nevertheless excited and grateful the book is still coming out as planned.

I hope you will take a look, and consider preordering a copy. Preorders are a few bucks off, and remain the very best way to support small presses.

This collection is, from the get-go, parenthetical, by which I mean layered horizontally in voice, architecture, inflection, and sound—the sound of the ever-fading world, and the soundtrack of the human interior. The tone is a shimmering dread with a backbeat of wonder, and the reigning approach to the line is the caesura—gaps, silences, and redactions. Everything teeters, transmogrifies; even the speaker’s dress shifts from “delicate bushbean pink” to “tufted crest titmouse gray” and then into something like song: “My dress  my dress / o mess of shabbiness…” Shanna Compton has managed to write poems that are utterly of the moment—“Oh vomitous intimacy!”— while harkening back to archetype, to the timeless strangeness of the natural world, imagination’s source: “the river/ the gold-green blur of trees,” steadying, sweet, a “clear rivulet of water across the sandy waste.” This collection met my thirst right where it lives. “Fellow navigators,” I urge you to read it. —Diane Seuss

Poems in (CREATURE SOUNDS FADE) slip through cracks into other worlds a little unfamiliar and they insist on the urgency of making what is unfamiliar familiar. You have to see how these poems sound in your head.  As private and public exchange places with one another, we’re let in to Compton’s poems, we’re invited to provide the variable. —Dara Wier

Shanna Compton’s poems turn corners you wouldn’t know were there if she weren’t listening for them, locating them in order to give them away, listening to what’s there and what’s left out. Her astonishing feel, sound by sound, for shapeliness sprung from the edges and detail of lived experience, and her intense commitment to deep listening, are antidotes for and tough pushback against the constant threat of total immobility we all face every day. —Anselm Berrigan

You can read more about it here.

Upcoming readings & appearances

Shanna Compton reading at Stain Bar in Brooklyn. She is wearing a yellow dress and holding a book, under a blue spotlight.

Full details on the calendar page.


Saturday, March 7, 10–4
Whale Prom Alternative Bookfair

Offsite during AWP 2020
Brick at Blue Star
108 Blue Star


Saturday, April 4, 2:30–4
LitLife Poetry Conference
Panel: Developing a Manuscript

Hirsch Community Center
Rosemont College


Saturday & Sunday, April 18–19, 9–5
New Orleans Poetry Festival Bookfair

New Orleans Healing Center
2372 St Claude


Saturday, April 25, time TK
with Tom McAllister & others TBD

Inkwood Books
31 Kings Hwy East