My book of poems has just come out from Cascade Books and I couldn't be happier with it. Organized around Gallileo's map of lunar regions, the book moves through distinct phases (see what I did there?) considering the relationships of history to the present, theology to poetry, lust to form, metaphor to magic. You can read excerpts from it both on Amazon and on the publisher's website.



Mischa Willett has a music all his own, albeit a music informed by years of his attending to the inexhaustible songs that comprise both world poetry and sacred text. He plays, therefore, with received matter, and he employs surprising linguistic brilliance to compose oratoria that brighten the heart of his reader, even as they transpose the familiar, offering echoes of a prior song lovingly adapted to a new, an exhilarating voice.
— Scott Cairns, author of Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems
There are echoes of the world Hopkins knew in Willett’s collection, a world charged with the grandeur of God, but Phases is no mere act of mimesis. Willett’s voice is his own, and his verse offers astonishing moments of confrontation and consolation. These poems name the reality of our shared human experience, and sing with wild abandon.
— Jeremiah Webster, author of After So Many Fires
Mischa Willett’s Phases takes time in stride. These poems rub shoulders with classical figures and Biblical traditions, stoics and shepherds and sleep-deprived poets, the better to place the old stories in a contemporary light. I admire the epigrammatic wit, Martial-like in its cutting wryness. If the unexamined life is not worth living, these poems investigate the daily struggle to find one’s place in the bigger picture—‘like holding one’s breath / to remember the air.
— Kevin Craft, Author of Vagrants and Accidentals


Phases is in good company on the press, part of the Poiema Poetry Series, edited by D.S. Martin, some of whose titles are:

By Luci Shaw
By Robert Cording
By Robert Siegel
By Tania Runyan


image by David Wittig

image by David Wittig

As part of the book's birthday celebrations, I'll be giving a few public readings and talks, about which you can learn here, and to which you are most cordially invited. If you'd like me to come read at your college, church, book-club, patio, etc, feel free to contact me at this form. I love talking about this stuff.