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Grief & Other Animals

Patty Paine

Grief & Other Animals takes the reader on a stunning emotional journey through the process of coping with tragic loss from the "knife-stab sudden" pain of initial grief to the reemergence of hope in a poignant new poetry collection from Patty Paine.

What Others Say About Grief & Other Animals

Patty Paine's superb new collection arises from the nearly unbearable—a mother's death, but most especially the senseless death of a husband. And, as the crucial elegiac poets know, grieving never truly arrives in "stages," and never ends in "closure." It is a process infinitely more intricate and nuanced than the platitudes suggest, and it ends, at best, in only a fraught and vexed consolation, what one of her poems calls, "a sorrow deeper than solace." Yet even a vexed consolation can be a form of quiet triumph, and these poems—spare, heartbroken, and always utterly precise—arrive repeatedly at such a triumph. Patty Paine has written a book of bravery and consummate artistry.

—David Wojahn

Elegy, in making grief a living thing, brings the dead back to life. But elegy is also how we ask ourselves to accept, a touching of the wound to accustom ourselves to pain. This stunning book both resurrects and more truly buries, and does what the best poetry does—shows me the world of another, and in doing so, brings me closer to my own. I feel bitten by these haunted poems.

—Bob Hicok

Grief and Other Animals reminds us of the great but elusive presence that stays with us after great loss, like a shadow without a subject. Paine takes on the ineffable through metaphor, action through repetition, and life through catalogs. From North Carolina to Doha, Qatar, these lyrics chronicle dates and their respective weights. She insists we "have to believe that language is a body / that won't die." These poems then offer us a body in which to live, an hourglass container that Paine skillfully turns over and over so it never runs out.

—Emilia Phillips


O, Grief

October 31, 2013

Every day the white-hot
burn of you.

Grief, intransigent
bastard you, ants marching

my counters, every day I kill
you, every day you march again.

I could get used to you,
the extravagant pain of you,

the slack jawed
dead at the end

of a needle, you.
But tonight, I'll walk into you,

past Trick-or-Treaters,
with their open mouthed

bags of want, their hastily sewn
illusions. Past them,

and into you, always
into you.

Details and Ordering

Publication Date: August 15, 2015
Format: Softcover, 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-936628-37-7
Price: $15.00

Ships on or before August 15th

About the Author

Patty Paine is the author of The Sounding Machine (Accents Publishing), Feral (Imaginary Friend Press), Elegy & Collapse (Finishing Line Press), and co-editor of Gathering the Tide: An Anthology of Contemporary Arabian Gulf Poetry (Garnet Publishing & Ithaca Press) and The Donkey Lady and Other Tales from the Arabian Gulf (Berkshire). Her poems, reviews, and interviews have appeared in Blackbird, The Louisville Review, Gulf Stream, The Journal and other publications. She is the founding editor of Diode Poetry Journal, and Diode Editions, and is an assistant professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University Qatar where she teaches writing and literature, and is interim director of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

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