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Standard Loneliness Package

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  15 reviews

"Seidlinger has cut all the nonsense away and looks at the core of each relationship. You can feel the heart in this collection and can't help but feel moved to look at our own past of broken connections."
—The Big Smoke

"Standard Loneliness Package makes it easy to see that time is the great healer, and that it also sometimes acts as a microscope that
Paperback, 126 pages
Published February 14th 2018 by Broken River Books
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  36 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Justin Tate
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Picked this up because the cover is bomb and I feel guilty for not reading enough poetry. Also my college buddy is over there at Broken River--hey J.! Congratulations to all involved on this project. Standard Loneliness Package made me believe in poetry again.

The book works so well not because any one poem is a knockout, although there are many standouts, but because of the perfect cohesion. It reads almost like a novel, where you link each relationship to an overarching storyline. I love the gr
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Someday, were the words of Neil Young, promising to write a letter to the good friends he has known. This idea has always been appealing. Unfortunately, someday never came for me. I have been away too long... or have I? Michael Seidlinger has done something similar with this collection of poems, but in a more poignant way. He deems Standard Loneliness Package “A book made to haunt me,” an apt description for what may be a Sweet and Low look-alike on the surface but often cuts deep. Together, the ...more
Alejandro Morales
Mar 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful collection of poems written to people the author don't talk to any more. Touching and full of honesty. A book to remind us that poetry can be an exercise to exorcise... or not. Totally recommended! ...more
Kyle Muntz
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read a draft of this when it was written and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite of Michael J Seidlinger's books. It's quite different than his novels but gets to the core of what he's always meant to do with his writing very quickly and simply, and with a really strong emotional heft especially if you read it in one sitting. ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a challenging book to talk about, for a number of reasons. It's some heavy stuff, deeply affecting. So much loss, but there always is. All the best things are transitory. At least there was something to lose. As difficult as the losses are, there was something there to begin with to be able to feel its absence as a loss. That alone is beautiful, and all that can be done is to feel that beautifully. ...more
Michael Seidlinger
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I keep texting you--you don't have to read this--expecting you to say "I know," when you don’t say a thing. ...more
Suz Jay
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
STANDARD LONELINESS PACKAGE reminds me of the eighth step in twelve-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous: “Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.” In some cases Seidlinger harmed the subjects of his poems and sometimes they harmed him, but all are lost to the author, including fictional woman he named Ruth and Sarah.

Seidlinger is brave to address these people and to look long and hard at those lost to him, and how social media both connects
Jimin Han
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get an advance copy of this poetry collection. Each poem is a door into a relationship that stuns you with how bare it lays the soul, puts into words what is impossible to say. These poems stand alone but read together give you an unflinching portrait of a universal human quest to connect.
Michael J. Wilson
Heartbreaking, beautiful, oddly uplifting.
Sara Habein
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
First half is particularly outstanding.
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
It’s not so much poetry as it is lyric-portraits. It’s gorgeous once you get into the flow, but it is still a little disappointing.
Kris V
Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
On the back cover, Seidlinger writes “A Book Made to Haunt Me”, yet reading it in all of an hour I found myself questioning whether prior to publication he ever wondered how many more bridges he might burn along with the people he dedicated each of these poems to.

Warning to all sensitive readers: one poem is dedicated to a dog he kept in a crate for two days without food or water and nearly died while he binged on alcohol.

In a word, these poems are confessions and I didn’t much feel like being
Josh Sherman
Oct 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Oddly the essay at the end of all things has piqued my interest in reading more Seidlinger. At first it seemed like filler—the big font made me think it was just added to pad out the book to some arbitrary desired length—but it's a nice note to end on. There are some good poems in here, but not a high enough ratio to get four stars. ...more
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This collection of poems was written by the author to people he does not speak to or see anymore. It is a wonderfully unique set of poetry and I fully enjoyed each one.
Paul  Hankins
In letters framed as poems or poems that reveal the letters of the piece and the certain peace that comes of having written in apostrophe, this collection was one of my surprise finds and reads of Summer 2018. Seidlinger's letters are those he has lost and are presented as what was and what was meant; the middle and the beginnings of the loss; and the feelings resulting of absence unresolved. Suitable for secondary classroom teachers and students who want to focus on epistolary form in the writi ...more
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MICHAEL J. SEIDLINGER is a Filipino American author of Runaways: A Writer's Dilemma (Future Tense Books, 2021) and other books. He has written for, among others, Wired, Buzzfeed, Thrillist, Goodreads, The Observer, Polygon, The Believer, and Publishers Weekly. He teaches at Portland State University and has led workshops at Catapult, Kettle Pond Writer's Conference, and Sarah Lawrence. You can fin ...more

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