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Dangerous Shirt, The
Alberto Rios
$15.00 paperback
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Dangerous Shirt, The
Alberto Rios

Alberto Rios's sixth full-length book of poems explores the magic located in mundane reality. Here is an improbably true space where human bodies suddenly fall through floorboards, the prickly feeling of limbs "fallen asleep" becomes stars buzzing under the skin, and ironed shirts hanging in a closet take on a foreboding sense of danger. Together these moments create a cultural physics that seeks the "also-moment" -- one of the probable and imaginative directions a single moment might otherwise become. "Science may be our best way of understanding the world," Rios writes in one poem, "but it may not be our best way of living in it."

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For Dangerous Shirt, The, Alberto Rios

In "The Dangerous Shirt, Rios sends readers down a magical wormhole through mundane reality, creating a book of poems that fuses magical realism with cultural physics."  Ploughshares, Spring 2009

"Alberto Rios is a poet of reverie and magical perception, and of the threshold between this world and the world just beyond." - National Book Award Citation

"His concise poems -- often stately columns of couplets -- drift off regularly into memories of a Mexican-American childhood in Arizona." --The New York Times

"Wonderfully odd, sometimes sad, never predictable...Rios continually surprises us in the way he stretches the meaning of words, turning them this way and that." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Rios' new book, The Dangerous Shirt, is his masterwork, a collection that both validates and exceeds everything that has preceded it....The book is one grand cycle—poems of memory, landscape, domesticity, adversity, bare essentials....Ultimately, The Dangerous Shirt succeeds brilliantly because it creates a completely imagined world and vision of humanity, broad in scope, exact in expression."—Ron Slate, On the Seawall: A Literary Website (

"Discursive yet aglitter with images, often abstract and yet insistently regional, the ninth collection from the Arizona-based Rios includes something for almost everyone."—Publishers Weekly

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