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Death Sentences by Toby Olson

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Death Sentences is Toby Olson’s first major collection since Darklight (Shearsman, 2007), and many of the poems herein are addressed to his wife, Miriam, who died, after suffering for years from Alzheimer’s disease, in 2014. Many of the other poems, typical of Olson’s concerns, stand as celebrations of what is observed, without metaphor or other literary devices intervening. The four series—Death Sentences, I Don’t Know, Disturbed and Etudes—are highly structured experiments with the sentence.

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