Published by Penguin Poets, Amy Gerstler’s 13th book, “Dearest Creature,” is a collection both astute and whimsical. Gerstler’s poems reflect a fascination with the creatures of her title, but her angle is ironical rather than indulgent. She weds fact and fiction and calls upon common and esoteric knowledge to compose her small worlds of words. “As grave as they are amusing and always bittersweet, these poems pay up again and again,” writes David Kirby for The New York Times. The Los Angeles Times calls the book “a collection of conversations, letters and interviews in which unlikely people (and animals and plants) appear in unlikely places and spaces in time.” Indeed, Gerstler has an eye on all members of her possible audience. Her humor and the simplicity with which she delivers her complex insights have the capacity to reach those who avoid poetry by a ten-foot margin.