How to Maintain Eye Contact


Robert Wood Lynn, 2023


Set in three sections, Robert Wood Lynn explores interior uncertainty, interpersonal uncertainty and uncertainty at a larger scale. These narrative poems, influenced by storytelling traditions, find themselves at the nexus of the intimate and the humorous, as well as the absurd and the tragic. These poems examine isolation and grief in their many forms—through heartbreak or the death of loved ones, or show us the world looking back at itself after it ends.


2023 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow
2020 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest – Runner-Up

Praise for Robert Wood Lynn

Robert Lynn clearly feels everything. He’s exactly the kind of poet worth reading.

— Alex Dimitrov, author of Love and Other Poems

Robert Lynn’s poetic voice — with its searching, meditative quality — calls to mind the mechanics of grief, solitude, and the experience of being alive with fresh alacrity. He writes of the metronome of one billion heartbeats, of everyday encounters and ‘eye contact’ with other beings, animal and human, the experience of caretaking as antidote. Here is a poet who ruminates on the passage of time and loss with sharp, wry insight.

— Sally Wen Mao, author of Oculus

About Robert Wood Lynn

Robert Wood Lynn is the author of How to Maintain Eye Contact (Button Poetry 2023), runner-up in the 2020 Button Poetry Chapbook Contest, and Mothman Apologia (Yale University Press 2022), selected by Rae Armantrout as the winner of… MORE

Additional information

Weight3.1 oz
Dimensions5.5 × 8.5 × .25 in

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Publication Date

January 10, 2023

Page Count


Author Hometown

Brooklyn, New York and Rockbridge County, Virginia



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