A Table That Goes On for Miles

tablecover_webA Table That Goes On for Miles (Switchback Books, 2014).  Featuring artwork by Rachel Farbiarz.

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“Stefania Heim’s poems are treasurehouses of carved thought: she is actually thinking, word by word, line by line, and her argument’s currents seem to etch patterns in the syntax, like wall carvings made by a delicate and ethical hand. Everything here is transparency, lightness–illuminations sifted through a mind willing to be unsettled by experience’s injurious data. Reading these phenomenal and profoundly philosophical poems, I think of still lives by Giorgio Morandi–careful, enigmatic arrangements of the ordinary. Heim’s acoustic elegance places her in the front ranks of those who pursue the plainspoken sublime.”

— Wayne Koestenbaum

“Stefania Heim’s magical Table is full of transformative generosities. Its mysterious world is “wildly kind.” These poems delight in the shapes of our boundedness even as they consider the infinite. They celebrate the transitory, the uncanny, the evanescent properties of mind. In the film adaptation of this dream of a book, we are in the woods, but we’re not lost. Stefania says, “What a strange thing a house is.” Yes, I say, we are having the same dream. In the dream we are waking up.”

— Elizabeth Willis

“Heim’s statements, phrases, and clauses can be quite short, curt, making us leap distances in our thought process to get to the next one. But in using this direct route she allows us to travel far. And she reveals so much of herself, of her brilliance, by letting us find it for ourselves.”

 — Brenda Shaughnessy, from Introduction


“To love A Table That Goes on For Miles, is to love the feeling of being undone, unwrapped, undressed, unraveled away from symbol and into thing, a new kind of being. Sitting at this table, surrounded by old relatives, starlets, and murderers, to hit a “wave of nostalgia” is to actually almost drown. It is to see “Scars, everywhere,” as “irresistible.” To be that awake to and aroused by life … “

— Jennifer Kronovet, from her citation for the Poetry Society of America New American Poets.  Click here to read the rest of Kronovet’s introduction and my Poetic Statement.


” … A Table That Goes On for Miles” has a kind of spiritual and enigmatic openness that makes it totally unusual. Her endless invention and delicate touch in diction, pacing, and precision make Heim’s poems a pure pleasure. More! More!”

Sean Singer at The Rumpus

“… Her sentences are gorgeous, but not just prettified—truly smart. In that regard, reading the book feels not merely like thinking, but like thinking the best and most surprising thoughts …”

Kathleen Rooney at Coldfront

” … I feel this is an important book. What I know is that Heim did not simply “box up what living deforms,” she has taken a journey and she has been shaken by it. Her shaking has shaken me … “

Matthew Schmidt at The Volta

“… In a sense, the poems are trustworthy because the speaker can’t be trusted. Circumspect, she’s suspect. More often, she’s sinister, as in the poem “Bathing the Baby,” in which the frustrations of being seen as a mother and the frustrations of being seen as a poet come together with striking clarity, or the anti-confessional “Saturday and Getting Colder,” which begins: “Now you know / everything: I was unnaturally lit from within.” A Table that Goes On for Miles announces in its title, some dream of togetherness, communication, shared ritual – but its powerful sense of exposure is the dark engine of that want.”

Katie Peterson at On the Seawall

“… [a] brightly serious first outing …”

Publisher’s Weekly