Everything Gets Old by Grace Curtis


“Have you ever noticed / how things wait…?” Grace Curtis asks in the opening poem of Everything Gets Old. “I want this to be about wingspan / and instinct,” she writes, and then delivers on this promise. The poems in this book are poems of attention, holding and held by the breadth of Curtis’ imagination, poetic skill, linguistic playfulness and interests (including those literary—as an example, the title of the opening poem is a reference to those who waited for Godot), and are infused by the breath of an embodied wisdom. Everything does get old, including the speaker of these poems and the inclusive “we” to whom they are often spoken—sometimes a particular other or others, sometimes all of us on the other side of Curtis’ page. At its heart, Everything Gets Old is about what it means to be human in our perfectly imperfect bodies (“In our efforts to be exact /we created/ create exact failure). Curtis directs us in the final poem, “The Storyteller” to “look at what we ignore most days,” and we readers are grateful for the honor of having, through Curtis’ poems, done exactly that. —Pauletta Hansel


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 86
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: May, 2019
  • ISBN: 978-1-948017-45-9


“We rarely mean what we say,” says Grace Curtis, in her second volume of poetry, Everything Gets Old. But, with word play and imagery, Curtis creates a world where “the eyes look at words and see something else altogether, something unspeakable.” She forces us to consider the contradictions between sound and silence, time and timelessness. These poems catch us off guard. They nag at our consciousness and our need to “know.” They are clear eyed and fearless. These poems will steal your heart and then your admiration. —Cathryn Essinger


Everything, Including Us, Gets Old


At night we rolled up the lawn around the house
plucking out all the vowels, saying
each one aloud as we’d been taught
to do as children.

At first it was a game
we perfected. We held the fruits
in our palms,
a cluster of Es, the As of apple.

We thought if we did this right
we’d live

long enough to see it through.
In the morning we rolled the lawn back out
stepping onto it, convincing ourselves

it was new again, that we’d done
our good deed. We scattered

the vowels back out over everything
to have something to do
the next night.


Grace Curtis’ book, The Shape of a Box, was published in 2014 by Dos Madres Press. Her chapbook, The Surly Bonds of Earth, was selected by Stephen Dunn as the 2010 winner of the Lettre Sauvage chapbook contest and she has been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. Her prose and poetry can be found in such journals as Sou’wester, The Baltimore Review, Waccamaw Literary Journal, and others.

Additional information

Weight 6 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in