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Lost Soliloquies

K. L. Cook | ISBN 9781948509121 | 88p | $16.95 | Poetry

I await the muse,
which has come thus far
in the form of odd profundities,
half-baked theories,
lost soliloquies,
and promises of greater fluency—

assuming I’m reading the signs rightly
and not just hopefully.

“Located in the tradition of the dramatic monologue, Lost Soliloquies is a masterful collection of literary, historical, and family voices. This ‘lost and found’ archive of meditations features Shakespearean characters long after they’ve left the stage, Clyde Barrow and Frank Lloyd Wright in mid-career, and heretofore unknown Texans—all just trying to make sense of their lives. With both pathos and humor, Cook creates a compelling interplay of portraits to illustrate the great democracy of tragedy.” —Sheila Sanderson, author of Keeping Even and OK by Me

“In Lost Soliloquies, accomplished fiction writer K. L. Cook has found, in poems, a way to give voice to a marvelous and compelling cast of characters. From Shakespearean characters unknown to Shakespeare (Lady Macbeth’s first husband) and Brabantio, Bianca, and Emilia, from Othello, speaking off-stage, to Clyde Barrow and Frank Lloyd Wright, and many anonymous American personas, all with authentic and engagingly clear voices, Cook has created an album of sketches and portraits with the power to resonate and remind his readers of their own passions, heartbreaks, and secrets.”
—Greg Pape, Former Montana Poet Laureate, author of Four Swans and American Flamingo

“With uncanny insight, K. L. Cook plunges into the depths of the human psyche in his stunning collection, Lost Soliloquies. A master of the dramatic monologue, Cook creates the voices of a fascinating array of characters, from Clyde Barrow to Frank Lloyd Wright. A fine poetic debut filled with flare, grit and wit.”
—Mary Swander, Former Iowa Poet Laureate, author of The Girls on the Roof and Farmscape

“Cook is an archivist of lost lives rescued by compelling language: the father whose fall from an Oklahoma roof ends in cool grass and a ladybug’s touch, or the mother who, after losing her father, dreams about Roy Orbison’s ‘quivering falsetto,/the girlish sadness of those high-pitched/songs,’ and the ‘dark sunglasses/that made you wonder if he was blind.’ Rich with arresting, unforgettable voices, Lost Soliloquies offers wry glimpses of the literary life, love lyrics of deep feeling, and powerful dramatic monologues—some drawn from history, others from Shakespeare’s tragedies—through which the poet casts light on the hidden corners of human experience. A book of generous vision and rare insight.”
—Ned Balbo, author of 3 Nights of the Perseids and The Cylburn Touch-Me-Nots

K. L. Cook is the author of three books of fiction: Last Call, winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize; Love Songs for the Quarantined, winner of the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction; and The Girl from Charnelle, winner of the Willa Award for Contemporary Fiction and named a Southwest Book of the Year. Cook’s new collection of stories, Marrying Kind, and a collection of essays on form, fiction, and influence, The Art of Disobedience, are forthcoming. His work has appeared widely in anthologies, literary journals, and magazines, including Best American Mystery Stories, Best of the West, Glimmer Train, One Story, American Short Fiction, Threepenny Review, Writer’s Chronicle, and Poets & Writers. He teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing & Environment at Iowa State University and Spalding University’s low-residency MFA in Writing Program. For more information, visit his author website at