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Winner of 2021 Write Bloody Publishing Book Award.
A perfect book for readers searching for the salve of darker verse and recovery poetry. Every Little Vanishing is, at its core, a collection of poetry that will bring you to your knees with its honesty.
...our marriage / a bridge between staying for the children we had or leaving for the people we want to become.
Every Little Vanishing" might change your definition of poetry forever. If you've ever thought of the poem as something that muses and meanders, think again. Sheleen McElhinney writes poems the way novelists write page-turning fiction. Her first lines grab you by the collar and pull you--no--drag you through each word, kicking and screaming until you reach the poem's end. By the last line, you hurt so good you beg Sheleen to do it again. There were times I wanted to rip out the pages of this book and swallow them, desperate to consume the work in as many ways possible. There were times I pressed my ear to this book and heard an ocean of grief. What I mean is, this book will both drown and buoy you.
--Megan Falley, Author of Drive Here and Devastate Me, Write Bloody 2018 Co-Author of How Poetry Can Change Your Heart, Chronicle Books, 2019
"Like submarines, Sheleen McElhinney's unflinching poems probe the lightless regions of memory, addiction, loss, longing, and daughter-/sister-/mother-hood. In her debut collection she illuminates the various ruthlessnesses of a ruthless personal history--an illumination powerful enough to reveal a hard won hope, even here among the grief and disappointments of living. This is a poetics of survival that, using as its instruments, a fierce attention to detail and a brazen, uncompromising candor. It wades resolutely through the terrors of inhabiting a body in time and arrives at the one true miracle: the next moment. And the next. And the next."
--Jeremy Radin, Author of Slow Dance With Sasquatch and Dear Sal.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
These poems drag you to the darkroom of vulnerability where everything is exposed; the wounded child, the wreckless adolescent, the life and death of a sibling to addiction, and the loss of self through marriage and motherhood. These poems hold beneath their hard exterior the soft underbelly of what it means to love and lose. They are for anyone who wants to learn how to grow a new skin, to excavate the body of its grief, to devour it, and to let it choke you.