What Minimal Joy

Michael Favala Goldman


ISBN 978-1-959556-55-8     100 pages     $16.00

About Michael Favala Goldman’s writing



Michael Favala Goldman is a stealth poet. The plain language and deep meaning of his poems can reverberate to the core of your being.

     —Lynette Yetter, Poetry Translation finalist 2023 PEN Awards


Goldman’s poems are succinct and subtle, understated even, yet powerful and persuasive; one after another, they take the reader by quiet surprise.

     —Barry DeCarli, author of  Camouflage of Noise and Silence


These are the poems we need in this human moment, at the sticky end of the pandemic. Goldman’s transcendent vulnerability underscores how little we have, and how precious and resilient it is, after all.

     —Sara Eddy, author of the poetry collection Full Mouth


What sparkles in Goldman’s work is that the voice is both sweet and edgy. There is a slight tone of annoyance, a touch of anger, that compliments the quiet sweetness. The clash, the juxtaposition of these forces gives way to a voice that is proper. By ‘proper’ I mean real, a series of tropes that captures the nuances of the human experience, of the human tumble down the stairs of everyday life.

     —Matthem Lippmann,

     author of Mesmerizingly Sadly Beautiful,

     winner of the Levis Prize in Poetry


These poems recognize the spiritual implications of quotidian moments and objects in daily life. They gently expose, with warm humor and piercing honesty, the unbridgeable separateness of each person, while also holding up for the reader examples of the sometimes difficult yet unbreakable connections between each of us.

     —Mark Luebbers,

     author of the poetry collection Flat Light,

     co-author of Citizens of Ordinary Time

     and the chapbook Group Portrait


Filled with grace and with rage, with confessions of dreams and proclamations of lies, remnants, victories and failures, a light so finely weaved into poems by a writer who also understands darkness. What minimal joy, what sharp mixture of feelings, something for everyone... most of all, a reminder: We are the only cure for the trouble we cause.

     —Elizabeth Torres,

     Colombian-American poet multimedia artist

     and literary translator. Author of Lotería,

    winner of the 2022 Ambroggio prize


Pithy, poignant, thoughtful meditations on what matters most: love, aging, loss, and connection. Goldman's poems will help you see life, romance, and friendship in a more incandescent light.

     —Lanette Sweeney,

     author of What I Should Have Said: A Poetry Memoir about Losing a Child to Addiction


Michael Favala Goldman (b.1966) is also a jazz clarinetist and a widely-published translator of Danish literature. Over 120 of his translations have appeared in literary journals. Among his fourteen translated books are The Water Farm Trilogy by Cecil Bødker, Dependency by Tove Ditlevsen (a Penguin Classic), and Something To Live Up To – Selected Poems of Benny Andersen. He lives in Florence, MA.