Dear Life


Winner of the 2021 International Book & Pamphlet Competition, judged by Daljit Nagra & Pascale Petit.

Shortlisted for the 2022 Michael Marks Poetry Award.

Exciting, accomplished, and shimmering with ideas, Dear Life is the work of an exceptional talent. Together as never before, such figures as Larkin, Galileo and Milton, Turgenev and Willie Nelson help the poet explore, explain and address life as it is lived in the 21st Century.

These are poems of transfiguration and transformation which exude meaning and significance and enthral the reader. Popa is a bold writer – she doesn’t shy away from expansive, dangerously poetic words such as love, God, life and beauty, but turns them relentlessly to her own ends. Dear Life is, in effect, a book of uncommon prayer – haunting and celebratory. Poems which demand to be remembered and enlarge us as we read. – The Michael Marks Poetry Award judges

Read a sample.

Published February 2022

What Writers and Critics Think

  • The clean poetic line dramatizes a coming-of-age narrative, alongside some lovely and moving poems about the natural world which question our experience of nature as well as describing it. What stood out persistently was the tenderness, the phrase making and occasional moments of humour.

    Daljit Nagra
  • These meditations on life’s big themes are subtle, dreamy, sharp, and composed with great economy. They have a quiet power and gravitas. The poet achieves universality, which is a hard thing to do, and has a consistent gift for outstanding lines. The title poem is particularly moving and exquisite. This is a brand-new voice, like a Larkinseque Mary Oliver if that’s possible! But very much herself.

    Pascale Petit


Maya C Popa is the author of American Faith (Sarabande Books; recipient of the 2020 North American Book Prize), as well as two chapbooks. Her writing appears in The Paris ReviewPoetryThe TLS, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of awards in the US and UK, including the Editor’s Prize from the Poetry Foundation and the Martin Starkie Prize from the Oxford Poetry Society. Popa serves as Poetry Reviews Editor at Publishers Weekly and teaches at NYU and elsewhere. She holds degrees from Oxford University, where she was a Clarendon Scholar, NYU, and Barnard College and is currently pursuing her PhD on the role of wonder in poetry at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Additional information

Weight 0.087 kg
Dimensions 21 × 0.5 × 14.8 cm
Publication Year

February 2022


978-1-914914-08-9, 978-1-914914-09-6




eBook (ePub), Pamphlet