In her first collection of essays, McQuade considers poetry from its composition or translation to its publication, critical reception, and consumption. Both historically informed and hip, she considers the community that literature represents: its friendships, influences, and oppositions. She dares to define the subject of poetry, itself, as pleasure. Poetry, she ventures, doesn't need to be literary. Her thoughts on the genre are enriched by discussions of distinctly nverbal poetic expression as well, such as painting and dance.These essays feature McQuade's characteristic expertise as a well-kwn reviewer, editor, and poet who is fueled by a passionate interest in ideas and an irrepressible ambivalence.