There is a concern for our living bodies I look for in poetry and Charlotte Seley gives us the resonating conversation of the world through skin on every brilliant page! She gets me feeling the terrestrial simultaneously calculated as cosmic in the everyday everywhere!

      CA Conrad

 Author of While Standing in Line for Death


The World Is My Rival is a streetwise catalogue of heartbreak, a record of the daily aggravation of being a mind trapped in a body like a man in a whale or a wreck in the ocean: “I can’t comprehend how live forever / and never die are the same.” Modeled on the pop tradition of the lost-love song, this book is for anyone who’s had the “majestic blues” of thwarted desire and gone back for more: “Come and get me, stupid light.”

      Elisa Gabbert

 Author of L’Heure Bleue, or the Judy Poems

 and The Self Unstable


Dear World, Congratulations! The book you are holding in your hands is infected with the infectious poetry of Charlotte Seley. Your temperature will rise. Your brain will wrinkle. Your palpitations will palpitate. Seley breaks her heart to break yours. She is “jealous / of the states you live in / the orange slices you share / the words we don’t have…” World, read Seley. Get ill and “Expand your palette & ride out the whispering blue wind.”

      Peter Jay Shippy

 Author of A Spell of Songs and

 How to Build the Ghost in Your Attic


The poems in Charlotte Seley’s The World Is My Rival strike as quickly and brightly as lightning and illuminate not only the landscape but the interiors of buildings and the private lives of those within.  I dare anyone to find a poet with more linguistic energy and insight. I am thrilled for all who have waited for this book, and for those who won’t know what hit them when they read it.

      John Skoyles

 Author of Suddenly It’s Evening: Selected Poems

 and Inside Job


I’m writing you from the event horizon of the whole world. It’s somewhere inside Charlotte Seley’s poems. What happened was, I read The World is My Rival, and the book, a body into which grief and celestial ennui have drilled, pulled itself into its own hole. That is, her book swallowed itself, and I went with it. Charlotte Seley stayed behind, lamenting the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. She wants to see everything at the same time: the angora sweater she is wearing and also the angora rabbit before it molted. She maintains that her map is not the territory, but you will follow it anyway, all the way to Beard Island, where the bewhiskered beloved lives, even as Seley warns you: “love/is unoriginal/when it’s me and I’m making it.” Her jealousy however is intense and wholly (holy) original. She wants every cell that her body has ever sloughed off, every other possible life, mode, and thought--and those of her lover’s. She is driving herself out of her mind. Which thankfully makes more room for us there.

      Darcie Dennigan

 Author of Animal Land and

 Palace of Subatomic Bliss


Charlotte Seley is a poet and writer from the Hudson Valley region of New York, currently residing in Kansas City. The World is My Rival is her first full-length poetry collection. Find her on the web at