Cascade Books

Phases grapples with classical tradition and travel, faith and falsehood, in an attempt to understand the processes by which ordinary things become enchanted. 

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Brilliant, and I don’t often use the word ‘brilliant.’
— Tweetspeak Poetry
A wonderful book, filled with energy and thoughtfulness.”
— Pedestal Magazine

Author-Photo-of-Poet-Mischa Willett

Mischa Willett is the author of Phases (2017) and editor of Philip James Bailey’s Festus, forthcoming from Edinburgh University Press. His essays, translations, reviews, and scholarly articles appear in a variety of publications. A specialist in nineteenth-century aesthetics, he hosts the podcast Poems for the People, and teaches English at Seattle Pacific University.

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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