ISBN: 978-1-62557-075-8
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Categories Poetry


Publication Date: June 2024


Earthwhere was written under the sign of disaster–a house fire, a global pandemic, the health crisis of a spouse, the stillbirth of my niece. In many of the poems, I address a “you,” a regular feature of lyric poetry, partly because it powerfully conjures a singular other, the “to whom” of address, our most precious loved ones. It made writing the poems feel like receiving the gift of their attention, like they were with me. Also, it made the act of writing an act of preservation, for poems enact and elicit emotion, connection. They’re all love letters, really.



       For Dobie
       A Golden Shovel From Ada Limon’s “The Last Thing”

After E left, you and L & L went upstairs to your room while I

stayed downstairs to babysit H and the puppy (who I can’t

get to stop barking at every little thing). I think it would help

if the curtains were up. I brought home pizza and wings. It

was 47 degrees this morning, and I was feeling smug, so I

looked up how hot it was going to be in Texas today (98). Will

you need me to take your friend’s home later? That’s fine. I never

heard back from you about what you want me to tell people to get

you for your birthday. Do you remember that summer fighting over

Nerf guns with your little cousins? They were hoarding darts and making

you upset. I said, they’re just kids, and you said, But I’m a kid! Everything

feels so all at once. The night the house burned down. So much smoke. Such

intensity. When H & I made it to the neighbor’s yard, there were a

few seconds I thought you were still in the house & I was yelling as big

as I could make my voice. I was calling God. I was making a deal.


Earthwhere is a chronicle of moving through and being moved by loss; it is the holy shape of absence. In other words, it is a prayer and eulogy, a blessing and a recognition of our transient time on earth. In Lindsay Illich’s universe of a book, we are all part and particle, wave and still, connected in the most fundamental way. Earthwhere is a portal, a transcendence. It will change you, or rather, it will guide you through the changes that you already are and were and will be. Loving and tender, attentive to everything, “But also your bright face./ In the light of it.”

–Marcela Sulak, author of The Fault and City of Sky Papers

About the Author

Lindsay Illich

Lindsay Illich is the author of Fingerspell (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), Rile & Heave (Texas Review Press, 2017), and the chapbook Heteroglossia (Anchor & Plume, 2016). Rile & Heave won the Texas Review Press Breakthrough Prize in Poetry. She also co-authored Teach Living Poets (National Council of Teachers of English, 2021). She teaches at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts.

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