Open Reading Period Selection


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ISBN: 978-1-62557-831-0
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Lost Letters and Other Animals

Publication Date: January 2021


Carrie Bennett reads from LOST LETTERS AND OTHER ANIMALS for the Black Lawrence Press Virtual Reading Series



In Lost Letters and Other Animals Carrie Bennett explores what words can and cannot express. Animals abound—birds sing and stop singing, dogs breathe and stop breathing, deer appear and disappear. All along the human brainbox records, remembers, and then forgets. In five long fragmented poems, we put together a collage that is a meditation on the eternal tension between beauty and truth. Bennett’s touch is light but cuts deeply into the impermanence that marks our lives. A beautiful collection. 
—Barbara Hamby 

Lost Letters and Other Animals feels written at the foot of The Tower of Babel, mid-fall, as Bennett tenderly records a world turning back into rubble.  This rubble is so beautiful and so wise it could easily be mistaken for a poem.  Bennett’s world keeps slipping out of the words that name it. Only the poem remembers.  Bennett wears the “day like a bright / bell in (her) throat.”  This “day” must be the magical instrument she uses to write these spare but gigantic poems down. 
—Sabrina Orah Mark

Meditating on mind, body, and language, Lost Letters and Other Animals attempts “to preserve the exact measurement of loss” that accompanies Alzheimer’s, an incalculable task that forces us beyond words and their “pretty cages.” Both body and mind, these fragments reveal, can box us in, bind or unbind us, defining us to ourselves until “the ability to name is gone.” In these beautifully haunting and haunted poems, Carrie Bennett opens space to consider how memory’s absence is marked by what remains.
—Amaranth Borsuk

About the Author

Carrie Bennett

Carrie Bennett is a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellow and author of biography of water (The Word Works, 2005), The Land Is a Painted Thing (The Word Works, 2016), and several chapbooks from dancing girl press. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Boston Review, Caketrain, Denver Quarterly, and jubilat. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently teaches writing at Boston University. She lives with her husband and daughter in Somerville, MA.

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