Paperback Price: $15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-882295-83-8


Selected Poem
Press Kit

Homeland Security



Write against narrative: here is the television’s blue
square of light, milk needling my skin.

The September sky burns metal blue, each day’s fabric
torn away from my window.

The television’s stark horizontal. The city dimmed,
asphalt shaking with the subway’s rush toward home.

Write toward the girl, asleep beside me, her body
made of mine.

The television’s expanse of glass, its flat metallic voice,
its slur of headlines.

I hold the baby while jets cross and recross over this city.

The current threat advisory is—

Write against blankness, a sheet strung tight,
a bed the color of ash: white, white, white.

Milk Dress


“Cooley describes a difficult journey, yet one negotiated with bravery and a willingness to transcribe challenge into beauty… [She] writes from a place of strength despite doubt, describing deep joy alongside fear and anger in clear, vivid language.”
Literary Mama

“…a carefully constructed book…of elegant restraint.”
Stride Magazine

“…luminous…easily recognized by any woman who has clasped her children…”
Santa Barbara Independent, Poetry Pick for the Holidays

“[Milk Dress] strives carefully and deliberately to bring together the whole of its narrative, while pausing for just the right click of the shutter, just the right brush stroke at each image…”
New Pages

“[Cooley] fuses intense feeling and scrupulous form like the best poets—think of Dickinson and Yeats—and knocks the reader out in poem after poem, evoking tears and wonder in equal amounts.”
― George Held

“Lush, pensive work…”
The Library Journal

“With gorgeous, formal control Nicole Cooley names the powerful ways in which a writer/mother is bound to history, beauty and inevitable loss. Here is a sensibility willing to inhabit terror and to make of that consciousness poems that are perfect marvels of poise and urgency, and that insist on rescuing words, hope, and meaning from oblivion.”
―Lia Purpura

“These are poems of birth and motherhood. They begin with a new life and end in a new self. They probe deep into the places where love extinguishes identity and yet renews awareness. What is so compelling here is that the arc of this journey is described with such music, craft and rigor in this wonderful collection.”
—Eavan Boland

“If it’s possible for a book to account for why and how mothering changes everything: so many things change everything: in this book, in the background and sometimes in the foreground, New York City after The World Trade Center Towers were destroyed, New Orleans after Katrina’s devastations, a woman’s body after a baby takes it over, a woman’s body when it’s an extension of a baby, a poet’s body understanding our elemental destiny, Milk Dress is a meticulous chronicle of devotion and terror, love and responsibility. To watch a poet with a poet’s skill with words and music address what is, after all, that which without which we would have nothing, is exhilarating and what we have poetry for.”
—Dara Wier

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