Bone Willows

In the Alaska-based poems of BONE WILLOWS, the wheel of the year spins faster than in the Lower forty-eight: “Arctic spring bicycles down a bookcase.” And the frantic course of time affects everything from non-human nature to the ways a couple with a small child make their way in the world. Here, animals “glow with no light,” friends remind each other that “it will break again, the push will come and it will all break again,” and home is “a secret held against hard dark.” In this debut collection, James Engelhardt gives readers the hidden Alaska—not of glaciers and brown bears and tourist stops—but of expressways and families and dinner parties.

“James Engelhardt’s outstanding first collection explores the tensions as well as the wonderment of a family adjusting to life in the Far North. As seasons shift and the deep cold moves in, the details of change are observed with grace and precision. These poems work together beautifully, offering the reader a striking picture of a harsh and fascinating land.”

“James Engelhardt has written a spectacular book of poetry set in Alaska where he tries ‘to root if I can . . . In this place of extremes, poems push against barriers—between lovers, ‘the exquisite earth’ and its ice, forest and mountain, to unfold wings and survive winter. . . Buy this wise book, read it, and travel.”
—Hilda Raz, author of TRANS AND WHAT HAPPENS

A colorful sketch of a red house blowing smoke out of its chimney in the middle of the woods with script that reads Bone Willows poems by James Engelhardt.

James Engelhardt ( Author Website )

Publication Date: May 22, 2018

Genre/Imprint: Boreal Books, Poetry

$17.95 Tradepaper

Shop: Red Hen, Bookshop, Barnes & Noble

ISBN: 978-1-59709-905-9