The St. Lawrence Book Award Winner

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ISBN: 978-0-9837945-2-3

Flock Book

Publication Date: September 2012


These are poems about the anxiety of what must be traded for the comfort of the flock. “Flock books” allow farmers to register and track livestock, and these poems survey the anxieties of that registry: the comfort of shelter as trade for living under the weight of threats-of removal, conformity, or one’s own urge to stray.


“Meticulous attention to environment is here matched by an equally meticulous attention to syntax and sound play, underscoring language itself as a biome, a thriving sphere of mutually supportive differences. Umans’ elastic ecosystems are full of convoluted narratives and ornate logics, all presented in tight, torqued phrases that put such pressure on individual words that they gleam. The whole book is a weave of glints, flashes, and extended dazzles. A sheer delight!”

-Cole Swensen

In these mysterious, inventive poems we feel the presence of the other breath in the darkness, at once disturbing and consoling. Flock Book takes stock of the human condition in which Umans’ startling images and irreverent wit give us moments as savory as they are poignant-and in a language as satisfying as ‘the goodsnap of elastic things.'”

-Beckian Fritz Goldberg

About the Author

Katie Umans

Katie Umans lives in New Hampshire with her husband and daughter. Her poems have been published in Prairie Schooner, Crazyhorse, Columbia, Indiana Review, Barrow Street, and others. She was Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing in 2005-2006. She is the recipient of a Hopwood Award from the University of Michigan, a James Wright Poetry Award from Mid-American Review, and a 2010 grant from the NH State Council on the Arts.

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