Letterlocking: Poems by Stephanie Staab

Letterlocking is an ode to postcards, grocery lists, ideas on cocktail napkins, notes passed under doors, envelopes, and secrets. It is a record of the way the written word leaves its mark on us and the ways we hold on to one another during separations of all kinds. From gentle repetitions that read like pleadings—a do-over by the undone—to soft spaces of courting rituals that stay between lovers, inner turmoils easier to write than to say aloud, and imagined closure for friends and enemies on the receiving end, the epistolic poems in Stephanie Staab’s Letterlocking reveal our deepest intimacies and pay homage to the security of an unbroken seal.

Content Warning: sickness, unhappy domestic situations


Letterlocking arrives as dispatches from the interior: singing with secrets and intimacies, eavesdropping on possibility. Daring and unexpected, these poems are letters you will keep and return to often.”
—Ruth Awad,
author of Set to Music a Wildfire

“To friends and enemies, Staab writes, ‘I hope [this letter] finds you changed’—a gift she also offers her reader. Encased in Letterlocking’s envelopes and coffrets are quiet intimacies, cockroaches, ‘blood and melon juice on the counter.’ Read these poems like love letters. Read them like secrets.”
—Hannah V. Warren,
author of Slaughterhouse for Old Wives’ Tales

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• 4” x 6” Perfectbound Trade Paperback
• Cream Paper, 46 Pages
• Paperback ISBN-13: 978-1-946580-39-9
• Paperback ISBN-10: 1-946580-39-2
• Ebook ISBN-13: 978-1-946580-40-5
• Ebook ISBN-10: 1-946580-40-6
• LCCN: 2023943666
• First Edition: August 22, 2023
• Short URL: tinyurl.com/letterlockingstaab
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Cover art is a portion of “Portrait de Melchior von Brauweiler” by Jan Stephan van Calcar, Venice, 1540, with design by Leah Angstman.

STEPHANIE STAAB is an American poet living in the Black Forest, Germany. Her work has appeared in Gulf Coast, Lake Effect, Lunch Ticket, Chestnut Review, and Ligeia Magazine, among other outlets.

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