Love Letters from a Burning Planet


In his scintillating debut, MJ Gomez weighs love against grief, grief against god, and asks: which governs what? Replete with sensuous pauses and lush imagery, Love Letters unravels pointedly and fearlessly, the way you would at 2 a.m. on a Wednesday, wine-drunk and unable to shake the rumor of a world you once built for someone.

—Letitia Jiju, poet and editor for Psaltery & Lyre

From its initial holy invocation of the poet’s name through the course of its burning and urgent trajectory, Love Letters from a Burning Planet sees MJ Gomez detail the intricate inner workings of a “palace of flame” in what can only be described as a triumphant debut. Poignant and deliberate at every turn, Gomez circles the body in an act of poetic ceremony, executed with heart-rending care. At its core, Love Letters reminds us: “[the] truth is we are all immortal except for our bodies.”

—NAT RAUM, author of the abyss is staring back

MJ Gomez’s love letters from a burning planet crackles with language that sings and singes. “What should become of Man?” Gomez asks, and through self-portraits and studies, love letters and invocations, deftly answers: “a man is a song.” This is a radiant collection of poems that orbits devotion in all its pleasures and pains. Here are poems that bend light to make music. Here is a voice unafraid to speak in a world aflame.

Sarah Ghazal Ali, author of Theophanies

Electric, grand, and merciful. With blunt precision, Love Letters from a Burning Planet by MJ Gomez interrogates our human devotions to each other, and to the world. His debut reckons with the expanse of passion, of intimacy, and of love: “Magic doesn’t need to be real. / This body is enough, I swear.” Every poem brings new landscapes of memory to contend with these facts, overflowing with the worldly case of our own dissatisfactions and hopeless desires. Every poem traverses faith: religious, interpersonal, and individual. Gomez writes a universe beautiful and so, so human. “I send to you a flame / like a bullet / repenting.”

—Daniel Liu, author of COMRADE

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love letters from a burning planet concerns meditations on ephemeral love, memory, and the purpose of art and storytelling.

42 pages in a 6″x9″ matte paperback.