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Hosts and Guests


An exciting new collection from a poet whose debut was praised by Colorado Review as “a seduction by way of small astonishments”

Nate Klug has been hailed by the Threepenny Review as a poet who is “an original in Eliot’s sense of the word.” In Host and Guests, his exciting second collection, Klug revels in slippery roles and shifting environments. The poems move from a San Francisco tech bar and a band of Pokémon Go players to the Shakers and St. Augustine, as they explore the push-pull between community and solitude, and past and present. Hosts and Guests gathers an impressive range: critiques of the “immiserated quiet” of modern life, love poems and poems of new fatherhood, and studies of a restless, nimble faith. At a time when the meanings of hospitality and estrangement have assumed a new urgency, Klug takes up these themes in chiseled, musical lines that blend close observation of the natural world, social commentary, and spiritual questioning. As Booklist has observed of his work, “The visual is rendered sonically, so perfectly one wants to involve the rest of the senses, to speak the lines, to taste the syllables.”

Author Information

Nate Klug is the author of the poetry collection Anyone and Rude Woods, a modern translation of Virgil’s Eclogues. His poetry has appeared in the Nation, the New York Review of Books, and The Best American Poetry 2018. A Congregational minister, he lives in Albany, California.


"Nate Klug's Hosts and Guests is a fine book full of rich nuance, complex emotions, and sharp observations. These are poems replete with hosts and guests from a wide range of ecosystems in which Horace, Rihanna, Leviticus, Dickinson, and even Pikachu and Pokémon Go make smooth appearances. Hosts and Guests is a book that feels as though, in Klug's own words, 'day's first words / arrive like nets, flung / from somewhere behind / our heads.' These are beautifully crafted, contemplative poems that stay with you long after you've read them." —Rowan Ricardo Phillips, author of Living Weapon: Poems

"What's the secret of these fresh and mysterious poems? In their lightness of touch, clarity, probity, and almost Japanese spareness, they bathe the ordinary in otherworldly light. Cicadas, young parents, a baby, North American bars and highways, jellyfish, a Horatian Ode, the death of Pompey, religious faith feeling its way, an inchworm shrinking from em dash to hyphen—all find their places, revealed, in Nate Klug's delicately paced syntax and gracious reticence. A book both timely and ageless, a balm, a boon."—Rosanna Warren, author of So Forth: Poems