In writing “How to Read This Poem,” Niina Pollari’s choice was honesty. Cuteness, rhetoric, and devices had no place in a project about conveying the truth of personal tragedy, she explains in Episode 10 of Multi-Verse. She cut those parts out.

How can we live with a past so painful we don’t want to remember it? “How to Read This Poem” takes the reader through the deep water and rip tides of grief; it offers truth rather than answers.

“How to Read This Poem” can be found in Pollari’s collection “Path of Totality” (Soft Skull, 2022), available here:

Multi-Verse is a poetry podcast hosted and produced by Evangeline Riddiford Graham, senior managing editor at Public Seminar. To hear more poets share the poems they don’t usually read aloud, visit Multi-Verse at SpotifyApple PodcastsPocket CastsSoundCloud, or For monthly poetry updates direct to your inbox, subscribe to the monthly Multi-Verse newsletter.