In There Are Birds, John Taggart explores the meaning of being singular though a range of American precursors: poets such as Marianne Moore and Louis Zukofsky, “nature boys” John and William Bartram, musicians, photographers, and private detectives. At once discursive and musical, familiar and strange, There Are Birds offers both a critical response to modernism and a “free weaving” of its many songs.

“Beautifully, indelibly, There Are Birds advances a notational method and measure all its own—part flight, part aesthetic tractatus, part lab report. More compunction than consolation but a long sorrow song as well, it plies a bracing, severe tonic both iterative and terse, a work of uncanny stretch and compression.” —Nathaniel Mackey