On the Long Blue Night by Eliot Cardinaux


In On the Long Blue Night, Eliot Cardinaux’s debut poetry collection, language is a ruined landscape through which the estranged voice of the poem threads a narrow way. As Patrick Pritchett writes, “this is poetry written at the frayed edge of history, ushered by the tutelary spirits of Celan and Mandlestam, full of longing and a deep listening to the silence.”


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 74
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: July, 2023
  • ISBN 978-1-953252-85-2


“In Eliot Cardinaux’s unsettling and intimate debut collection, “the lateword” illuminates a landscape of ruins that is still redeemable by the yearning of logos, its flickering presence marking a way forward for the poem in a time when poetry has found itself held hostage by sociological sermonizing, empty positivism, and puritanical grievances.  “Won’t you take what is given, / pain in the branches / ringing the gavel, / cradled like a lamb,” asks the poem. Bright with spiritual darkness, this is poetry written at the frayed edge of history, ushered by the tutelary spirits of Celan and Mandlestam, full of longing and a deep listening to the silence.” —Patrick Pritchet

Author nominated for the Best New Poets Anthology:

“The lines in these poems bear witness to the soul in extremis, rendering the collapses of intimacies and environments in such precise language that the lines felt like bodily incisions. The power – emotional, lyric, spatial – isn’t only in language but in the poet’s deft wielding of silence and the unspeakable knowledge every word hoards. How then can a self exist in language, be voiced and true? Poem after poem, the poet dares utterance onto the page, an insistence that admits hunger and enables survival, confessing with mesmerizing intensity: “I love this language / love it madly / Here it is.” Every cell of my person cried “yes” as I read these exquisite poems.” —Jennifer Chang, Judge’s citation


False Door
For Jade

I walk through poetry out into the world.
I have forgotten something, maybe
my coat. I have just woken up.
I go on a walk with poetry, looking for a door.
You tell me it is there, looking onto our bedroom.
It needs a poem.
I need to make my way through something.
I could go on a walk with you.
I could hear the exile singing.


Eliot CardinauxELIOT CARDINAUX was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1984, and spent time growing up in Geneva, Switzerland. In addition to being a poet and translator, he is a pianist and composer working in the field of jazz and improvisation. He studied briefly at Manhattan School of Music, and Conservatorium van Amsterdam, before completing his degree in music at New England Conservatory. He went on to acquire an MFA in poetry from The University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has traveled to Denmark and Germany several times over the last decade to perform and record his poetry and music. Eliot has collaborated with Asger Thomsen, Mat Maneri, Taus Bregnhøj-Olesen, Randy Peterson, Tristan Honsinger, Axel Dörner, Jeb Bishop, Herb Robertson, Jaimie Branch, Joe Morris, Ed Schuller, Flin van Hemmen, Jonas Engel, Etienne Nillesen, Tony Malaby, Thomas Morgan, Kresten Osgood, Mia Dyberg, Zoe Christiansen, Isaac Luxon, Eivind Opsvik, Katya Popova, Peter Knapp, Ryan Blotnick, Sean Ali, and many others. At present, he has a trio with Will McEvoy and Max Goldman, a duo with Gary Fieldman, and is a member of the international ensemble Our Hearts as Thieves. His albums include American Thicket, Sweet Beyond Witness, Out of Our Systems, and Pavane. He is the founder of The Bodily Press, an independent chapbook press and record label. He has taught at UMass Amherst, and worked as a bookseller at Amherst Books.

Additional information

Weight 5.1 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in