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Call Me When You Want to Talk About the Tombstones
Cynthia Marie Hoffman

In this book-length poetry sequence, a mother inherits a leather box that was her grandmother’s. Her daughter joins her on a reconstruction of family history. Together they traipse through graveyards and sift through endless photos and clippings, piecing together what used to be in order to understand who they are.

"Hoffman builds a fascinating collage of family stories, photographs, letters, and poetry. . . . Intricate and intelligent, these poems reveal the heart of the genealogical craze—to face mortality, and find a way to remember and be remembered."
—Camille-Yvette Welsch, Foreword Reviews

“Cynthia Marie Hoffman obsessively and nimbly combs, witnessing histories both harrowing and common, and it is her practice of hand and mind that moves us, as readers, to view each living dace before us as subject to the one last face: death—and us, in turn, as future mourners. This virtuosic, lyrical meditation can therefore orient us ethically, deeply, and beautifully to each other and to our mortal selves.”
—Katie Ford

Call Me When You Want To Talk About the Tombstones is a haunting, thrilling experience. Each line of Hoffman's tactile, incandescent poetry recovers, for a moment, the irrecoverable past with stunning clarity.”
—Nick Lantz

Cynthia Marie Hoffman received her BA and MFA from George Mason University. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She is the author of Paper Doll Fetus and Sightseer, which won the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry.


Paperback / $15.95 (Can $21.95) / ISBN 978-0-89255-489-8 / 118 pages / Poetry