Haunted Bones, poems by Chris Tusa

Haunted Bones is indeed haunted–by characters, such as Mr. Potato Head, Botticelli’s Venus, and a Voodoo Priestess–and by images, such as a grandmother’s teeth staring from a bedside mason jar, or bones “rattling like empty bottles of beer.”  The lucky reader who finds this collection will be glad to carry the ghosts of these poems into the tangerine-hued future.» Beth Ann Fennelly, author of Open House and Tender Hooks.


Haunted Bones, poems by Chris Tusa


“In Haunted Bones, Chris Tusa probes uncharted waters with courage, with energy, strength and clarity of vision. Microscoping the incorporeal, he holds a magnifying glass up to the mind of a hypochondriac in poems detailing fear of tumors, leukemia, bad weather or the sky falling. Intense and compelling, Haunted Bones is a vivid and hard edged collection. Chris Tusa’s poems cannot be folded and sailed out into the night because like a boomerang in the shape of “Satan’s hipbone,” they return and linger in the recesses of the mind.  »Vivian ShipleyConnecticut Review


Chris Tusa, like the tornado at the center of his book, chases our dark shadows – our murderers and missing children and dead uncles – until they die “like characters in some great myth.” In Tusa’s witness, the lost dictate their own elegies, and we have only to stand with him, on the banks where the light has drowned, and listen.”

» Jake Adam York, author of Murder Ballads

“Chris Tusa’s poetry is not for the faint-hearted. It’s poetry on steroids.”

» Greg Langley, The Baton Rouge Advocate

“Chris Tusa’s poems are darkly visionary, calling on the beauty of the natural world to illuminate the murk and drift of human motives and action. Here is a striking collection of poems that engages and unsettles, soothes with the aesthetic what it roils with dark narratives. A tense, often beautiful, and promising debut.”

» Sidney Wade, author of Green, Celestial Bodies, and Empty Sleeves

“Tusa’s is a wonderful debut collection. The poems gathered here shimmer and pulse with familial anecdotes, humor, and a much-welcomed human touch. It is as if each poem is a conversation to which we are specially privvy, and through our listening our understanding and capacity to love increases tenfold. Mr. Tusa’s ear is exacting and intune with the vernacular of our frenetic, dislocated times. A fine collection indeed.”

» Virgil Suarez, author of Latin JazzThe CutterHavana Thursdays, and Going Under

“There are certainly times when I want a poem to look me in the eye, tell me the truth, grab my collar, and walk me through the real world.The poems in Chris Tusa’s collection, Inventing an End, accomplish this with music and beauty. Tusa’s is a rare gift of honesty and clarity. Readers will surely appreciate how his devotion to craft develops, poem by poem, in this book. I know I do.”

» Jack B. Bedell, author of At the Bonehouse and What Passes for Love