Reinhabited by Michael Daley


The poems in Reinhabited have survived a slow burn through four and a half decades. Five slim collections, the first and second twenty-five years apart, adhere to an ethic of place which runs through: The Straits, To Curve, Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest, Of a Feather and Born With. Though far-ranging in their settings and themes, Michael Daley’s New & Selected Poems embody a deep bicoastal commitment through reminiscent descriptions of the New England where he grew up, and through meditations on his adopted home, the Pacific Northwest, where the practice of the art of poetry has sustained him. The spirit of a wanderer praising wilderness, the wind, cloud mass, human community, the hearty lives of plants and animals, rings through these poems. “Romance With the Unexpected,” a long discursive poem, anchors Reinhabited on the high seas of spiritual awakening.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 372
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: February, 2022
  • ISBN: 978-1-953252-50-0



There is a mystery at the core of Daley’s work; one can’t guess where his poems are going to go. He is an artisan of the present moment, where poems weave the political, the social and the personal, as he moves easily between the narrative and the lyric. —Joseph Stroud 

His pragmatic narrative pull and extraordinary lyrical power works in another dimension, a more ethereal plane. Some poets are born with an internalized muse, a muse who has a will of her own and a set of contrary aesthetics. Daley is one of these hosts. The lucky bastard. —Dennis Daly, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene

Even rock-hard childhoods and relationships can be redeemed, Daley reminds us, as he mines his past for the gold-flecked, shimmering moments that are in abundance in this collection. —Holly J. Hughes

The poems in To Curve reenter the momentous with humility and empathy. —Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Poetry Flash

I can confidently recommend Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest as both a notable instance of postmodern style and an extraordinarily rich quarry of poetic invention. —Martin Abramson, Book/Mark Quarterly Review

The poems in Of a Feather, ranging from complex serial poems to haibun and haiku, once again remind me of what a fine and modest poet does in this dark world–he praises, he sings. —Sam Hamill



A swan rushes me in the tall grass, in cattails.
In her open wings a death angel’s embrace,
her beak snapping an inch from my fingertip.
The tousled fluffs of cattails drift onto the wave.
On the water three others parade,
Vatican envoys for whom the Korean orphans
will spin the guttural Polish anthem into honey.
What coast was I on? Which war was then?
Crawling a bluff with friends, footholds tumble away.
The sun scorches the sand, in and out of our clothes,
cutting reeds, high on a dune.
My mother smiles up the splintery stairs
under the bald light of her Quincy cellar,
a wave of hair against the quarried walls,
scrubbing the white dog with tomato juice,
foolish, foolish Beauty sprayed by a skunk.
Granite ledges in Pennsylvania crumbled away.
Staring at your boot laces here where you were little,
it is days after I ruined everything,
though you don’t guess yet. You tell me,
a life sentence forty years later,
I could never live the way you want me to.
Granite surfaces, dust weighting the leaves,
the cities where you’ve lived, a smear of blue soot
as if by art’s genius swirls the toe of your boot.


Michael DaleyMichael Daley is the author of seven books of poetry, several chapbooks, a collection of essays, two books of translation, and a novel. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and holds an MFA from the University of Washington. A recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright, Artist Trust and the Seattle Arts Commission, he lives in Anacortes, Washington.

Additional information

Weight 23.5 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 1 in