In stock (can be backordered)

ISBN: 978-1-62557-066-6
Request a Review/Exam Copy

Complete only if requesting a physical review/exam copy. While we can only send physical copies to addresses within the US, reviewers and educators outside the US are welcome to request an e-galley (PDF). (See check boxes below.)

Check as many boxes as apply.

While filling out this form is not a guarantee you will receive a review/exam copy, we are happy to consider your request. E-galleys are typically available about 1-2 months prior to a book’s publication date, and physical review/exam copies are available shortly before publication.

In The Tempered Dark: Contemporary Poets Transcending Elegy

Publication Date: February 2024


Historically poets have explored no two themes more than love and grief because they are opposite sides of the same emotional coin that we will all experience in unique and often unexplainable ways. While other anthologies validate the necessity of the elegy, none examine the relationship between the body in grief and the body of the poem a poet crafts to recreate an individual, visceral experience of grief. By pairing contemporary poems with micro-essays, wherein each poet considers briefly the connection between their included poem(s) and their corresponding grief, In the Tempered Dark initiates a dialogue designed to engage teachers, students, readers, and writers. This collection doesn’t instruct poets how to craft grief poems but illuminates the bond between bodies in grief and bodies of poems.

In the Tempered Dark brings together contemporary work and voices that demonstrate the range of grief which feels urgent to twenty-first century poets from diverse backgrounds, at different stages in their careers, confronting assorted losses through various styles and forms. Poems coupled with micro-essays offer intimate and inside insights appealing to novices and veterans of all genres. This book will allow readers to identify with poets and poems to grieve and to heal, and it will also consider the relationship between poet and poem. Such an examination of content and form will show how poets manipulate craft, giving voice to what can seem unsayable, transcending elegy.



Erin Adair-Hodges, Susan Aizenberg, Rebecca Aronson, Ruth Awad, Carol Barrett, S. Erin Batiste, Sandra Beasley, Lillian-Yvonne Bertram, Malachi Black, Elijah Burrell, Janet Burroway, Lauren Camp, Victoria Chang, George David Clark, Tiana Clark, Aaron Coleman, Flower Conroy, Lisa Fay Coutley, Jessica Cuello, Ja’net Danielo, Meg Day, Oliver de la Paz, Jaydn DeWald, Sean Thomas Dougherty, Morgan Eklund, Katie Farris, Ariel Francisco, Julie Funderburk, John Gibler, torrin a. greathouse, Ben Gucciardi, Kat Hayes, Bob Hicok, Chloe Honum, Jay Hopler, Didi Jackson, Jessica Jacobs, Brionne Janae, Kimberly Johnson, Ilya Kaminsky, W. Todd Kaneko, Sharon Kennedy-Nolle, Vandana Khanna, Kathryn Kysar, Anna Leahy, Eugenia Leigh, Muriel Leung, Dana Levin, Aurielle Marie, Molly McCully Brown, Leslie McIntosh, Kevin McLellan, Leslie Adrienne Miller, Wayne Miller, Tyler Mills, Jenny Molberg, Berwyn Moore, Jessica Morey-Collins, Simone Muench, Susannah Nevison, Lisa Olstein, Emily Perez, Jeremy Radin, Jenny Sadre-Orafai, Diane Seuss, Prageeta Sharma, Sean Singer, Anthony Sutton, Alexandra Teague, Lynne Thompson, Eric Tran, Nikki Ummel, Angela Voras-Hills, Claire Wahmanholm, Allison Benis White, Jackie K. White, Phillip B. Williams, Jess Williard, Chelsea Woodard


Human beings have always turned to poetry—language at its most sublime—for comfort and affirmation in times of tragedy. This anthology, In the Tempered Dark edited by Lisa Fay Coutley, goes a step further as both an exploration and a balm for grief; these elegies and dark odes are accompanied by short essays from each poet. Together, the poems and these notes left by the wizards who made them, make this book a tome of acknowledgment, a testament to survival.
–Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition

About the Author

© Randy Mattley

Lisa Fay Coutley

Lisa Fay Coutley is the author of HOST (Wisconsin Poetry Series, forthcoming 2024), tether (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), Errata (Southern Illinois University, 2015), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, In the Carnival of Breathing (BLP, 2011), winner of the Black River Chapbook Competition, and Small Girl: Micromemoirs (Harbor Editions, forthcoming 2024). She is also the editor of the grief anthology, In the Tempered Dark: Contemporary Poets Transcending Elegy (BLP, 2024). Her poetry has been awarded an NEA Fellowship, an Academy of American Poets Levis Prize, chosen by Dana Levin, and the 2021 Gulf Coast Poetry Prize, selected by Natalie Diaz. Recent prose & poetry appears in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Barrelhouse, Brevity, Copper Nickel, North American Review, and Gulf Coast. She is an Associate Professor of Poetry & CNF in the Writer’s Workshop at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Visit Author Page