CHORUS : available now! + Publisher’s Weekly review

January 23rd, 2023

Order from the University of Chicago Press:

Or from Amazon:

Publisher’s Weekly review: “Whose afterimage am I?” Molnar asks in her striking debut. These poems interrogate how the self connects and relates to the world around it, and how these influences shape a larger picture. Each titled “chorus” followed by a number (“chorus 1/ air” and “chorus 6/ map/ there is no time but the light remains”), they capture voices in conversation and harmony/disharmony with each other, “I’ve noticed how many good hearts have to stop/ to keep me clothed and fed/ I’ve noticed the callouses on other hands/ the splinters in paw pads/ the burrs in black feathers that, elsewise, ought to fly.” Writers are frequently invoked, including Bayo Akomolafe (“In this epoch of porous boundaries, our bodies cannot be considered apart from the stories we tell of them”), Alice Notley, Nietzsche, and W.S. Merwin. Poems about Ojito Canyon (“light advances up the canyon named Ojito, little eye/ black scatter of magpies in deepening blue”) provide beautiful descriptions complicated by anxiety, “Worry seeps through the slightest crack. Keep/ the body. Thinking is a truceless act.” These poems do not deliver tidy answers to the dilemmas of existence, but rather investigate the division and fragmentation with lyric urgency.

CHORUS is a lyric wail stunned into awakening by crises both planetary and personal– though here, as in the physical universe, the two are not oppositional phenomena. Pieces made of fragmented verse, sinuous prose, and desperate frenzied plea make a rhetoric of salve, or salvation. As the poet writes, ‘The songbird is and is not a metaphor./The songbird is and is not gone.’ What I mean to say to you (I meaning me, you meaning absolutely you, the one reading this) is that this is a book that speaks from a body and to a body. I felt spoken to. Known. ‘Are you there. Is anyone there.’”

—Kazim Ali, judge of the 1st/2nd Omnidawn Book Contest 2021

“Tendrilic, electric, Daniela Naomi Molnar’s CHORUS traces a mind in swift action. A near daybook, this collection is intimate and expansive, born of the solitudes highlighted in the pandemic, while resistant to the individualisms thrust upon us. It is a choral undertaking that points to the ecosystems of our languages, the subterranean connections between our lives and the world, and the “open portals” of books in our current fires. A stunning book by a poet I am excited to follow.”

Solmaz Sharif, author of Customs


Poems that incorporate multiple voices to embrace fragmentation, discord, and plurality.

At a time of simultaneous isolation and interconnection, this book is an inquiry into the edges of the self. Pushing back on capitalist messages of individuality, CHORUS instead seeks the multifaceted self that engages with the radical diversity that characterizes any healthy ecosystem or society. Moving between a remote canyon in New Mexico, the Pacific Northwest, New York City, the virtual world, the past, and the unstable future, the author asks, “Whose afterimage am I?”

The sprawling, celebratory, mourning chorus of this book is the sum of many voices; the words of other writers, poets, and artists are interwoven with the author’s words. This is a celebration of language’s capacity to supersede bodily limits, mortality, and existential loneliness. Daniela Naomi Molnar’s chorus encompasses violence, love, empathy, fear, a burning planet, a pandemic, heartbreak, desire, joy, and grief. Rather than seeking resolution, these poems look through the lens of a fragmented self, dwelling in plurality, discord, and harmony.

CHORUS is the winner of Omnidawn’s 1st /2nd Book Prize, judged by Kazim Ali.

How to Build a Kite

January 22nd, 2022

New essay in Oregon Humanities magazine

“How to Build a Kite: On ecology, grief, and the illusion of closure”

Thanks to Sophia Hatzikos for the gorgeous photographs and to the excellent editors at Oregon Humanities.

Inner Forest Service, two new poems

November 17th, 2021

Thank you to the exceptionally wonderful new journal Inner Forest Service for publishing two poems from my forthcoming collection chorus:


chorus, winner of Omnidawn’s 1st/2nd book contest

August 17th, 2021

I could not be more stunned and honored. Thank you to the brilliant Kazim Ali @kazimalipoet for selecting my work and to Omnidawn  @omnidawnpublishing.

chorus will be out October 2022.

Read some excerpts here:


“River Notes” in Cirque

July 15th, 2021

I’m honored to have a new lyric essay in Cirque. Read it here:

New poems in LEON

August 13th, 2020

Issue 3 | Daniela Naomi Molnar

WEB 10 and WEB 11

June 10th, 2020

These hybrid visual/verbal poems are published in Fugue:

October 9th, 2019

WEB 10



read them at petrichor

WEB 12

August 31st, 2019

Published in Bomb Cyclone


“We woke up early so we would know how to survive”

August 1st, 2019

Read it at GAZE


. . . Who forgot symbiosis
Who forgot predator/prey
Who manufactured predator
Who codified prey
Who forgot how to love the thing
before killing it

Who forgot death’s fecundity
Who forgot the osmotic anthem of love
Who forgot the smell of soil breathing
Who forgot dawn
Who forged dawn unconvincingly,
sallow electric rot

Who convinced dawn of nothing
Who found dawn recalcitrant,
habitual, full of scars and leaking light
Who knew nothing about survival . . .