Yusef Komunyakaa’s books of poetry include Dien Cai Dau, Neon Vernacular, for which he received the Pulitzer Prize, Talking Dirty to the Gods, Warhorses, Emperor of Water Clocks, and Everyday Mojo Songs of Earth (forthcoming from FSG in 2020). His plays, performance art and libretti have been performed internationally and include Saturnalia, Wakonda’s Dream, Testimony, and Gilgamesh. Rachel Bliss has exhibited in galleries and museums including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, James A. Michener Museum, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Coombs Contemporary Gallery in London and the Alternative Museum in New York. Bliss’ art has been commissioned by and featured in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, Penguin Books, and The New Yorker. She is the founder and curator of The Drawing Room in Philadelphia. Yusef Komunyakaa has been startling us with his rich, disturbing, and important poems for many years. The poems in Night Animals (Sarabande Books) climb so deeply into the being of various beasts, from cricket to leopard to snowy owl, that we read them with an uncanny shiver of recognition. Without ever fully abandoning his human skin, Komunyakaa inhabits both the outer and inner lives of these creatures. The images are a brilliant match for the poems, each of Rachel Bliss’s surreal animals populate a realm somewhere between our two species―birds with teeth, men with antlers, a duck wearing suspenders. Both image and word are dense and dark, intensely focused around a kind of hunger.