Sum of Every Lost Ship


Sum of Every Lost Ship


Allison Titus



Allison Titus is the author of Sum of Every Lost Ship (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2010), the novel The Arsonist's Song Has Nothing To Do With Fire (Etruscan, 2014) and the forthcoming book of poems, The True Book of Animal Homes. She teaches in the low-res M.F.A. program at New England College.

Sum of Every Lost Ship navigates what is haunting, strange, and unknowable grief and disappearances, fragments and histories. Reading, we are deftly balanced on the shores of mystery, a mystery fathomed by a keen instinct for metaphor. Allison Titus is a writer exquisitely attuned to compassion, isolation, and the sometimes overlooked details of this sturdy and tenuous world goats hearts, schooners, cabinets, arctic realities. This is a startling and moving collection.” –Talvikki Ansel

“The pilgrim heart, as one of Allison Titus’ exquisite phrasings has it, requires an unmooring, a letting go, into a world marked by passing journeys, passing architectures, almost-lost motels for intimates to get lost in a hardscrabble world rich with leavings. An internality emerges, sets out, to congress with the obstinate, the creaturely. This poetry’s experiment takes us to the fact that the everyday is also experimental, in that, familiar as it is, it can never, if it is seen intensely enough to be durably writ, be wholly predicted. So fine a lyric sensibility as the reader will find in these poems is all the more compelling for acknowledging the human limits of the lyric, for making hard choices, even refusals, and for never romanticizing omission i.e., obliteration but testing it at every step with earthly perceptions. Allison Titus’ s Sum of Every Lost Ship presents readers with a striking new poetry, and a beautiful and truly original voice.” –William Olsen

“‘We choose / what soothes us,’ writes Allison Titus in this intricate collection, and yet I don t quite believe her; Titus’s choices here are invariably brave and unflinching, thus wonderfully jarring. She pays careful attention, and her sights land on deafening gallops, shipwrecked utterances, waking night terrors. This close-up looking reminds us of our essential predicament ‘What we need / is a surefire way to strap the bed / onto the trembling boat,’ she tells us and yet, in Titus s steady hands, capsize seems not only necessary danger but uncanny adventure.” –Kerri Webster

More Information:

Allison Titus Website

Octopus Magazine


The Volta



Publication Date



Cleveland State University Poetry Center





Sum of Every Lost Ship