a haven for books that matter

John Rybicki

Poet John Rybicki was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. His third collection, When All the World Is Old, from Lookout Books, was written in response to the long illness and death of his wife, the poet Julie Moulds. He is the author of two other poetry collections: Traveling at High Speeds and We Bed Down Into Water. His poems have been published in the Best American Poetry 2008Alaska Quarterly ReviewEcotone, Field, the Paris Reviewand Poetry. Rybicki has been a writer-in-residence at Alma College, and he teaches poetry to young writers through the InsideOut Literary Arts Project and Wings of Hope Hospice. He lives in Michigan with his son.

“John Rybicki is our great true poet of ecstasy. His poems are soulful, enraptured, euphonic, but they are not without the fevers of grief. In fact at the core of When All the World Is Old is the death of the poet’s beloved wife. It is the restless wrestling with the gravity of loss that makes these praise poems rather than elegies, that gives them more fire than darkness. Even the quietest poems here vibrate intensely. They will make you vibrate.”

Terrance Hayes

National Book Award winner for Lighthead


“John Rybicki’s elegies break and mend your heart, then break it again. When All the World Is Old is chockablock of authentic, exuberant poems of delight and adoration and loss. Rybicki’s poems of early widowhood, of poet Julie Moulds’s cancer, are gloriously domestic and profound–the straw hats and the stars, the chemo and the cosmos. His rich and unflinching depictions of grief, along with brief passages from Moulds’s writing, tell a true love story through poems.”

Denise Duhamel

Author of Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems