Poetry is Useless is a remarkable and moving book in which Nilsen appears to hold little back. Many of the pages feature strike-outs, words and sometimes entire dialogue balloons deleted, as if process were more important than a sense of finished work…Much of Poetry is Useless appears random: a view through a window, a bulldog seen in a coffee shop. But these chance observations and encounters, they add up to form a life. That this is the case for all of us goes without saying, but if art has a purpose, it may be to get us to slow down and take notice of all the moments, all the nuance, we might otherwise overlook.

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