A Circus of Want

Kevin Stein's poems celebrate desire in its various forms. He moves sinuously among the particulars of daily life: infertility, accidents, hummingbirds clustered around his red shirt, a wasp trapped between panes of glass. With grace and intelligence, he asks what there ostensibly discrete details amount to. Stein elucidates the interwoven beauty and horror in such events and in the lives of an armless man reading in a library, a group of Vietnamese immigrants, and a father whose son is dying with AIDS. From their experience, and his own yearning for a child, he composes an absorbing record of human want.


"These are enormously compelling poems. As a reader I am swept up in their process, as they move from place to unexpected place, from connection to surprising connection. Kevin Stein's book...celebrates desire and love for the world at hand...A Circus of Want is a moving, honest book."

—Lisel Mueller

University of Missouri
Press Columbia and London

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