Part love-letter, part lament for a morally and ecologically compromised world, Katie Riegel’s fine third collection begins by reassuring us that “we live as much in dreams as in the made rooms/with tile floors and airplanes.” Here, language is both curse and cure, the handmaiden of passion, that paradoxical human gift she wants “to both deny and utterly believe in.” This book is alive with sexual energy and droll humor. ~Enid Shomer, editor of the anthology ALL WE KNOW OF PLEASURE: Poetic Erotica by Women (John Blair/Carolina Wren Books, 2018).

This is precisely the book I needed at this moment. Both fantastical and grounded in nature, deeply hopeful and stark in its appraisal of a dying world, this collection is full of lines I will keep close. “Save your words for the next/ world. And give me this:// because of the frogs, I am willing/ to believe there might be one.” But Riegel’s words are here for us now, and for that I am grateful. ~Maggie Smith, author of Good Bones

Katherine Riegel asks difficult questions of how we relate to our world and gives us a “way back to our // missing parts.” Elegiac and celebratory, these poems lean skillfully into quirky and powerful phrases that describe the inexplicable nature of life and death: “when the dark comes, / dream that we are dancing– / all animal grace and body joy.” There is no better way to name our connection with the world. ~Terry Ann Thaxton

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