Grief Is the Only Thing that Flies

Keel Hybrid Chapbook Winner
Laura Wetherington
publisher: Bateau Press
pub date: 3/15/2018
price: $12.00 plus shipping

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“As Juliana Spahr suggests eco-poets ought do, Wetherington includes a bulldozer when she mentions a bird: there is mourning paired with wit, compassion with rage. This book of epistles and mistranslations, built utterly of the moment—and created out of hope, intimacy, inclusivity, and radical plans for loving and bettering the world—is exactly the remedy needed when things feel (as they often do right now) dire. ‘I am so lonesome I could split,’ Wetherington writes, but at its enormous heart, Grief Is the Only Thing that Flies is a book of companionships real and imagined, bruised and bountiful, complicit and queer and complex. It will keep you good company.” —Arielle Greenberg, contest judge

In 2016 I was pregnant, which had me thinking a lot about love and childhood. I miscarried just weeks before the presidential election, which braided the private and public grief together. The resulting poems—Jack Spicer-esque love letters to queer writers—appear in this chapbook alongside fake translations of French poets ranging from Liliane Giraudon to Jean-Marie Gleize to Vénus Khoury-Ghata to Paul Verlaine.

This book maps failures: failed translations, the failure of language, failures of the body and political failures.


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For review copies, contact Dan Mahoney at