The poems of Stone Milk address the way the written word preserves yet distorts the lives depending on it for fame or survival. Anne Stevenson's highly engaging new collection opens with A Lament for the Makers, an experimental sequence based on medieval dream poetry that plays with a Dante-inspired yet modern, scientific vision of an underworld of poets. This is followed by a series of shorter poems, mostly related to ageing and the prospect (even the comfort) of dying. The Myth of Medea ends the book on a note both stoic and merry, despite its frank look at the reality of death. Stevenson rewrites the myth as an 'entertainment' to be set to music -her own original take on how ancient, classical stories are reinterpreted by societies that inherit and retell them.