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Dispatch from the Future


Leigh Stein’s poetry has been creating a buzz since her days as a New Yorker staffer. Funny, charming and imaginative, her work deals with the experience of growing up in a world saturated with fantasy and social media, and explores the trials of becoming an adult. Her numerous readings of her work around town—often presented dramatically, sometimes with puppets—made her a local hit.

Now, in the wake of the publication of her beloved first novel, The Fallback Plan, she lives up to the buzz with a funny, charming and imaginative debut poetry collection.

Uncanny yet lyrical, these poems go from the darkest side of Facebook to the remotest corner of the desert. Through online dating, beauty pageants, Greek mythology, and road trips, Stein weaves a tapestry of young women in love and in longing. Post-confessional, like Sylvia Plath raised on MTV, or Anne Sexton on Twitter, Stein knows how to draw readers in with a narrative hook, or a pop culture reference. This irreverent collection points the way to what contemporary poetry can be.

LEIGH STEIN’S first novel, The Fallback Plan, was hailed as “beautiful, funny, thrilling, and true” by Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story). A former New Yorker staffer and frequent contributor to its “Book Bench” blog, Stein is also the author of the poetry chapbook How to Mend a Broken Heart with Vengeance, and is the winner of the Transcontinental Poetry Prize, and Poets & Writers magazine’s Amy Award. She lives in Brooklyn.

Selected as one of Publishers Weekly’s ”Best Summer Books of 2012”

”By showing us that it’s possible to make something beautiful and funny out of our supposed follies, Stein rescues the present.” —The Poetry Foundation

”A book as deeply sad as it is perceptively playful, Stein recreates her life, one full of unbounded wisdom and imagination weaving a tapestry of myths, memory, history, and pop culture, that new sort of collective memory we all share.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

”The poems, like Stein’s debut novel, The Fallback Plan … strike a powerful balance between humor and melancholy, reference and storytelling.” —The Rumpus

”I love these poems.” —Joe Dunthorne, author of Submarine

“Leigh Stein’s poems know how to laugh it off after a stunning tumble down a flight of stairs.” —Rob MacDonald, editor of Sixth Finch

”These poems will charm the pants off of you with their irreverence, insight, and optimism” —Guernica

”Leigh Stein follows her lauded debut novel The Fallback Plan with an equally impressive poetry collection, Dispatch from the Future … Guernica called the book, ”poetry for poetry haters.” I have to add that even admirers of verse will adore this volume.” —Largehearted Boy

”Dispatch from the Future is an archaeological dig by a woman who is commenting on her life as she is uncovering it.” —The Tottenville Review

Praise for The Fallback Plan

“Beautiful, funny, thrilling, and true.” —Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

”Her enchantingly funny and insightful debut novel The Fallback Plan … has a universal quality, capturing a generation’s angst quite like Franny and Zooey did when it was published in 1961.” —Chicago Tribune 

“Stein’s light, accessible, self-deprecating prose makes this coming-of-age story a pleasure.” Publishers Weekly

”A startlingly developed and fearless voice.” — The Rumpus

“Intimate, urgent, and laugh-out-loud funny. . . . Think Franny and Zooey. Think Goodbye, Columbus. Think of this book as your next great read.” —Joe Meno, author of Hairstyles of the Damned

”The Fallback Plan is to this generation what Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm was to the previous generation, and The Catcher in the Ryebefore that.” —Susan Salter Reynolds, Los Angeles Review of Books

”Stein, 26, captures the voice of the young 20-something prodigal daughter with the clarion call of authenticity in her debut novel. … Stein’s light, accessible, self-deprecating prose makes this coming-of-age story a pleasure.” —Publishers Weekly

“27-year-old former New Yorker staffer Leigh Stein nails the latest postcollegiate trend—moving back in with Mom and Dad… Stein seems poised to become the Lena Dunham of contemporary fiction, given the way The Fallback Plan’s storyline deftly bears with it a steady commentary on today’s flat­lining economy and a generation of college grads (an estimated 85 percent of the class of 2011 moved right back home) who have to wonder if we’ll ever actually grow up and become real adults.” —ELLE Magazine

”…an existential crisis of lost 20-somethings that pretty much everyone can relate to.” —NYLON Magazine

“Cheeky self-assured prose.” —O: The Oprah Magazine