afterpastures, by Claire Hero. May 2008
5 3/8" × 8 5/16" × 48 pp.
$8.00 US Out of Print
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“Claire Hero conjures language in such a way that description creates possibility. In this world, where Darwin and Dickinson pass secrets, there remains little separation between a body and its landscape. Evolution engenders an exquisite bewilderment that becomes its own wilderness. Fantasy and wisdom disorientate in order to locate our ‘percentage of beauty’ in this intriguingly stunning collection.”
Claudia Rankine, author of Don’t Let Me Be Lonely
“Like: throatsong that transcends by guts, gutting; a bone with a little gristle attached and some feather; where did that feather come from?; where does that meat come from; a green field with new-dug holes in spring time, springing time; Hero makes the language taste like something; ‘what doesn’t fear my hands?’”
Jen Tynes, co-editor of horse less press
“afterpastures is original. In art, there is no higher praise. In these poems, the pastoral is made to turn somersaults. Instead of bucolic calm married to mild satire in the irreal world of shepherd and shepherdess, here the scene is the knife in the hand poised to meet the beating heart. The knife is our knife, the hand, our hand. And the animal? It’s our best self—but now in the grip of destruction. These strange, moving, passionate, and crystalline poems form a fable where the animal world, under our mesmerized gaze, becomes the mirror it always was.”
Mary Jo Bang, author of The Eye Like a Strange Balloon
afterpastures was the winning manuscript in the 2007 Caketrain Chapbook Competition, as judged by Claudia Rankine.
Cover “The World Is a Dangerous Place,” knitted object and pegasus print, © 2004 Kate James. Used by permission. Cab/Net: “[I am made of many doors]”; Coconut: “Molt”; Crowd: “[Through the eye]” (as “On a White Skull, Found”); Diagram: “Stag,” “[The night was animal]”; Foursquare: “[Brood-nursery bred]”; horse less review: “[Crackbone carries the lamb],” “[Out of the afterpastures],” “[Redness in the grass]”; Octopus: “[From huntress],” “[Mammaled, teat-].” Text © 2008 Claire Hero.