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

95 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $14.95 ISBN: 9781602234499 Published February 2021
E-book $14.95 ISBN: 9781602234505 Published 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 bleak expanses of snow. These poems have teeth, bones, and blood—they clack and bruise and make loud sounds. They interrogate self-preservation, familial history, extinction, taxidermy, and animal and female bodies. In between these lines, in warm places where blood collects, animals stay hidden and hunted, a girl looks loneliness dead in the eye, and wolves come out of the woods to run across the frozen water of Lake Superior.
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
Review Quotes
Elizabeth Bradfield, author of Toward Antarctica
I Thought There Would Be More Wolves offers a bold voice, fierce and vulnerable. I admire that while it engages pain it does not stay in that space of hurt but pushes beyond to what’s next.
Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod
In this book the dead are searched, known, and fully articulated—the birds, the moose, the ghosts. Even if everything is “too final for its own good,” Ryan can make it live again in language.
Vievee Francis, author of Forest Primeval
Sara Ryan’s exquisitely wrought I Thought There Would Be More Wolves carries the charm, irony and frightening ferocity of unexpurgated fairy tales, the original stories spoken in the dusk, drawing up both bone and fur, feather and blood. This is a collection that admits transmutation. The central question being can we bear what we become any more than what we are?
Sara Eliza Johnson, author of Bone Map
Ryan explores the desire to become the wolf instead of the prey animal, the thing with teeth and claws—a survivor of the forest—and the poems here embrace that wild spirit, are full of striking imagery, rich language, and emotional urgency. Visceral and raw, tender and lyrical, this is a fierce and feral debut.
Keetje Kupers, author of All Its Charms
In these shape-shifting poems, Sara Ryan moves back and forth between the speaker who is made of fragile flesh and the one who wants to tear that flesh from the bone. Here is a book that doesn’t flinch from the hard work of chewing on not only the bones but also the heart.
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