I Thought There Would Be More Wolves

Poems

Sara Ryan

I Thought There Would Be More Wolves

Sara Ryan

Distributed for University of Alaska Press

72 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $14.95 ISBN: 9781602234499 Will Publish February 2021
After moving to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, poet Sara Ryan found herself immersed in the isolated spaces of the North: the cold places that never thawed, the animals that stayed hidden and hunted. As she struggled with loneliness, cruelty, and the bleak romantic expanses of the UP, she saw her own body reflected in the bodies of animals. These poems have teeth and bones and blood—they interrogate self-preservation, familial history, extinction, taxidermy, and a fascination with animal and female bodies.
 
Grief, death, loss, recovery, and rebirth dwell in the soft spaces of this book. The poems are a skeleton, strong and unflinching. They clack and bruise and make loud sounds. But in between the lines, in the warm places where the blood hides, that is where the animals dwell, where the wolves come out of the woods and run across the frozen surface of Lake Superior. Ryan writes about the animal body because it is the body she can control. She navigates the deaths of animals, the knives and guns that kill them, the preservation of their skins; she sees her own body in the animal—in that wolf, that horse, that crow. She sees her body in the animal that is preyed upon. The animal presence in this book leads to a discourse with the female body that is urgent and necessary. This collection of poems is about terrible and beautiful things; pain and what lies beyond it.
 
Contents
SELF-PORTRAIT AS MAMMAL
I.
WOLF QUESTION
I THOUGHT THERE WOULD BE MORE WOLVES
YOUR DAUGHTER IS A LIAR
NESTING MATERIAL
PREHISTORY
THE FIELD MUSEUM
ARLINGTON PARK
THE MACKINAC FOX
A MAN TELLS ME HOW DIFFICULT MY BODY IS
A MAN IN A BAR TAKES A PICTURE OF ME
I WILL HAVE FORGOTTEN YOU BY SUNDAY
BEAST FABLES
II.
WOLF QUESTION
SCRAPE
OF MEN & BIRDS
BAD HUNTER
MAPPING MY FATHER
KNIVES BEFORE FORKS
FOR A MOMENT
RAW HONEY
STOPPING TIME
GRASP
INVENTORY
III.
WOLF QUESTION
IN PRAISE OF THE EXOSKELETON
PARENTHOOD
EXTINCT
CUFFING SEASON
THE LIZARD THAT LIVED FOREVER
RENOVATION
LAMB WITHOUT A MOTHER
RIFLE SEASON
WOOLLY BONES
BLOSSOM ROT
FEVER
MUD CEREMONY
IV.
WOLF QUESTION
CALL ME A COURAGE
THE GIRL WHO CRIED WOLF
LITTLE GRIEFS
GLASS GRAVITY
FAVOR
SHEAR
THIS IS THE REALM OF LAST CHANCES
ORIGIN OF THE MAPPING SYSTEM
CIRCUMSTANCES OF DISAPPEARANCE
LOOK WHAT I HAVE DONE
MY FATHER ASKS IF I WAS RAISED BY A JACKAL
ALPHA
BRAMBLE AND KNIFE
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