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Binding: Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-57131-446-8
Pages: 104
Publish Date: July 2012
Genre: Poetry

The Alphabet Not Unlike the World


BY Katrina Vandenberg

In her highly ambitious second collection of poems, Katrina Vandenberg writes from the intersection of power and forgiveness. With poems named for letters of the Phoenician alphabet, and employing such innovative forms as the ancient ghazal, Vandenberg deciphers the seemingly indecipherable in this emotionally poignant collection. Moving between the physical and the abstract, the individual and the collective, The Alphabet Not Unlike the World unearths meaning—with astonishing beauty—from the pain of loss and separation.



• Read “Forgiveness Through Poetry,” a dialogue between Katrina Vandenberg and fellow poet Jim Moore.
• Stream Katrina Vandenberg on MPR’s All Things Considered below.
• Watch Katrina Vandenberg read from The Alphabet Not Unlike the World at the Poetry, Women and Publishing Event below.

“Vandenberg’s prosodic gift takes us to the breezy edge of the line. In traditional forms like the ghazal, witty alphabet poems, and cyclonic, free verse, she reminds us that truth already is slant, ‘Hell is holding onto a secret, some of us already know.’”

—Kristin Naca, author of Bird Eating Bird




Like Atlas holding up the world, these poems elevate patterns of all kinds with an attentiveness that transforms.
Read more ›

Editorial ReviewGoodreads Review

“Vanderberg [shows] remarkable restraint when telling stories. She trusts her reader enough to leave these spare images uncluttered with explanation. More important, her reader can trust that fine writing and poetic logic will carry these poems as they travel across the wide spaces between what we understand.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Vandenberg finds ways of representing — making signs for — the things she has lived through; she makes intensely private experiences into doorways through which the reader enters."

—Éireann Lorsung, Cerise Press


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Katrina Vandenberg

Katrina Vandenberg is the author of the poetry collections Atlas and The Alphabet Not Unlike the World. She is also the winner of fellowships from the McKnight, Bush and Fulbright Foundations. A professor of Creative Writing at Hamline University, she lives with husband and novelist John Reimringer.

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