What the Willow Said as It Fell (Paperback)

What the Willow Said as It Fell By Andrea Scarpino Cover Image

What the Willow Said as It Fell (Paperback)


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This book-length poem by the current Poet Laureate of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Andrea Scarpino, asks the reader to sit with and inside the body’s many losses, to grow comfortable and restless in its vagaries, and to acknowledge the myriad ways the body shapes and informs our lives. Incorporating found poetry, including from her own medical records, and the ash and willow tree as mythological figures, Scarpino writes with lyric intensity from a place of resistance and questioning as she tries to describe, understand, and record chronic pain as a growing epidemic.
Andrea Scarpino is the author of the poetry collection Once, Then (Red Hen Press, 2014), and the chapbook The Grove Behind (Finishing Line Press, 2009). She received a PhD in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, and an MFA from The Ohio State University. She serves as Poet Laureate of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (2015-2017) and has been published in numerous journals including The Cincinnati Review, Los Angeles Review, PANK, and Prairie Schooner. She lives in Marquette, MI.
Product Details ISBN: 9781597097314
ISBN-10: 1597097314
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication Date: April 25th, 2016
Pages: 80
Language: English
“This brave and beautiful book is not simply writing about the body—the writer’s own—in chronic pain; it is a deep inhabiting of it, moving through it like a landscape, using all the resources of poetry to stay alert, still thinking, seeking and responding at the point where language generally breaks down. Andrea Scarpino faces not just the drama but the tedium of pain, and offers us no easy comfort; rather, there is both raw insight and surprising grace. The writing dissolves the usual boundaries, between prose and poetry, medical fact and mythical imagination and—like pain itself—between our individual bodies and the whole surrounding world.”
—Philip Gross

“‘Pain changes us / and everything we touch,’ writes Andrea Scarpino in her second book of poems, of chronic, undiagnosed pain, a suffering ‘when you always hurt.’ Images of pain braid with evocations of the natural world, deer and willows, pine needles and their scent, pain as always and only pain, red dust hovering, and no hope of transformation without art.  A lovely and harrowing book you must read!”
—Hilda Raz, co-author of What Becomes You

“With their intoxicatingly beautiful wordscapes and innovative use of language, Andrea Scarpino’s spare, taut, unflinching poems not only find new ways of describing physical pain, they use those most difficult sensations to chart a bodily narrative of love and renewal”
—Gerard Woodward