The Mineral Point Poetry Series • Release Date: October 30, 2018

Print ISBN: 978-1-948559-17-1 • Ebook ISBN: 978-1-948559-20-1

Brain Mill Press offers Life on Dodge for direct sale in ebook and trade paperback. Ebook buyers receive access to MOBI (Kindle), EPUB, and PDF files, offered without DRM restrictions. Print book buyers receive a physical copy of the book as well as access to the ebook files in all formats.

I realize that being a woman is a lot / like being a planet—I can’t decide / what my gravity attracts. I am as helpless / as I am powerful.

Poet Rita Feinstein builds a planet from twenty-five sonnets of lost love, and the astrophysics is undeniable. What has more gravitational pull than loss? What is a more alien landscape than the rearrangement of a heart?

A strong narrative arc built from verse, Feinstein’s debut collection crosses Shakespeare with science fiction to launch readers into a world apart where a newly broken heart is celebrated, examined, nurtured, and let to rage, as if only the atmosphere of an entirely new planet is able to bear the process of healing. This emotionally generous collection looks at pain and lovefourteen crystalline and confessional lines at a time. Dodge, as the speaker names her planet, “is not Virginia.” It is “red because a horse heart / is red . . . Red because / that’s what I was wearing when I left,” and as the speaker fills Planet Dodge with men (because “there’s no reason for Dodge / to be this empty”), she finds “how easy it is to hate them all / after six years of loving you too much.”

Life on Dodge is a powerful cycle of confessional verse,  a contemporary radio signal to Plath and Sexton, utterly unafraid of the heat and danger of reentry after the fully interstellar escape that comes after heartbreak. “Next month the pain will be less, / and the next month it will simply disappear. / For example: today you are coming to Dodge. / You are coming to take me home.”



A graduate of Oregon State University’s MFA program, Rita Feinstein is currently based in Washington, DC, where she teaches creative writing to kids and teens. Her first collection, Life on Dodge, was selected for Kiki Petrosino’s Mineral Point Poetry Series. Feinstein’s stories and poems have appeared in Permafrost, Grist, and Willow Springs, among other publications, and have been nominated for Best of the Net and Best New Poets. She lives with her husband, who is a lawyer, and her dog, who is not.


Brain Mill Press commissioned a special 8 x 10″ broadside for Life on Dodge, featuring hand-set metal type and printed on French Paper Company fine art paper in a limited edition of fifty, designed and printed by letterpress artist Lindsay Schmittle at Gingerly Press.

The broadside can be purchased separately or as a bundle with the print edition of Life on Dodge.


AN EXCERPT from Life on Dodge: Poems by Rita Feinstein

© Rita Feinstein, 2018


When you left, there was a sound

like the scraping of a dagger

being unsheathed from my heart,

and in the left-behind hollow,

a red bat came to roost.

Good, I thought, because bats go

where moths go and moths go

where the light is, which means

there’s still something like a streetlamp

in me, however dusty and guttering.

But where its corona bleeds to black,

you can still hear it—the sleek shriek

of steel against bone, the infinite echo

of you pulling away.



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