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What is Left After a Pandemic?

Check out my review of Carla Rachel Sameth's darkly humorous collection of pandemic-era poems, What is Left. The review appears on the NewPages blog.

What is Left captures the surreal, tenuous way we all moved through the early days of COVID-19.

In the category of Life Imitates Art, Carla and I met in early 2020 at the AWP conference in San Jose, where we were promoting books by the same publisher. It was a day or two after the mayor of that city declared a state of emergency because of a COVID-19 outbreak. The CDC had not yet instructed everyone to wear face masks. AWP attendees were wandering around the convention center trying not to touch door knobs.

Carla's poems perfectly document that strange collective experience.

She previously published a well-received memoir in essays called One Day on the Gold Line. Find out more about Carla and her work at

In writing my review of What is Left, I enjoyed learning more about NewPages. It's a fantastic showcase for independent and university publishers, founded in the early 1970s.

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