poems by Frank Paino

with a foreword by Nickole Brown


Orison Books
paper  / 84 pp.  /  $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-949039-07-8
Distributed to the trade by Itasca Books
1-800-901-3480  /  orders@itascabooks.com
Publication Date: May 5, 2020




In his long-anticipated third poetry collection, Frank Paino sheds his singular light on the most obscure corners of history and human nature, assembling a hagiography of unorthodox saints. Paino’s poems teach us to look deeply at the unsettling realities from which we instinctually look away—and they show us the rich rewards of beauty and wisdom we can gain by doing so.




After two successful poetry books published by Cleveland State University Press, followed by twenty years of silence, Frank Paino is back with a book that will feed his ardent fans and impress those unfamiliar with his work.

—Maryfrances Wagner, New Letters


If Paino’s eye is often drawn to the grotesque and—as the collection’s title suggests—the obscure, he meditates on these with rapt attention, finding beauty in what otherwise would be merely lurid, discovering sublimity in kitsch, humor in the disconcerting, and life in the morbid.
—Brian Volck, "Close Reading": The Slant Books Blog


Obscura is accomplished and satisfying. If you’ve read Paino’s earlier work, you’ll be very glad for this new collection. If you’ve never come across Paino’s work before, start here, return to his other collections, and then wait eagerly with the rest of us for what will come next.

Lynn Domina


In an age and country that is (over)saturated with the first person lyric poem, Paino’s poems are especially remarkable. If this book was a museum, it would be one that houses curios and raritie