“A dazzling, feather-light tour de force—witty and effervescent and insightful, and so sexy, and so real.”

—Elif Batuman, author of Either/Or

An endlessly inventive, wise, exhilarating book.

—Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness

Preorder here!

A dazzling love story in poems about one woman’s coming-out, coming-of-age, and coming undone.

A woman lives an ordinary life in Brooklyn. She has a boyfriend. They share a cat. She writes poems in the prevailing style. She also has dreams: of being seduced by a throng of older women, of kissing a friend in a dorm-room closet. But the dreams are private, not real.

One night, she meets another woman at a bar, and an escape hatch swings open in the floor of her life. She falls into a consuming affair—into queerness, polyamory, kink, power and loss, humiliation and freedom, and an enormous surge of desire that lets her leave herself behind.

Maggie Millner’s captivating, seductive debut is a love story in poems that explores obsession, gender, identity, and the art and act of literary transformation. In rhyming couplets and prose vignettes, Couplets chronicles the strictures, structures, and pitfalls of relationships—the mirroring, the pleasing, the small jealousies and disappointments—and how the people we love can show us who we truly are.

Advance Praise:

“In this riveting debut, Maggie Millner makes the rhyming couplet—that supposedly staid, outmoded vehicle of 18th century moralism—an engine of radical metamorphosis and scorching sex. Couplets plunges us into desire so fierce it overwrites existence, exiling us from the lives we know. This is an endlessly inventive, wise, exhilarating book.”

     —Garth Greenwell, author of Cleanness and What Belongs to You

“A dazzling, feather-light tour de force—witty and effervescent and insightful, and so sexy, and so real. I want a time machine so I can give this book to my Eugene Onegin-obsessed teenage self!”
     —Elif Batuman, author of Either/Or 

 

“A stunning debut, an instant classic . . . Sexy, sophisticated, surprising, propulsive, worldly, tender, formally masterful: who knew the nineteenth-century novel would find an astonishing critical efflorescence in poetry, in Brooklyn, in the twenty-first century?”
     —Maureen N. McLane, author of More Anon: Poems
 

“Maggie Millner takes the stateliest of forms and feeds it to the flames of a consuming passion. Engined by rhyme, propelled by lust and hunger, Maggie Millner’s Couplets—effortlessly learned and endlessly sexy—is already an exquisite exemplar of my queer poetic canon.”

     —Richie Hofmann, author of A Hundred Lovers


"Couplets is a dazzling, virtuosic, and highly inventive debut––and one of the best books I have read in a long time . . . This book has changed me."


     —Aria Aber, author of Hard Damage