Cirque & Sky: Winner of the 2015 Fledge Poetry Chapbook Award (Paperback)

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"In the end we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we are taught."

Baba Dioum, 1968

Cirque & Sky is the winner of the 2015 Fledge Poetry Chapbook Award, and has continued to be a widely read and important collection of poems. Concise and compact in length, it's depth of prescience and vision propel the reader to contemplation of our world, our place and power in it, and the consequences and beauty of our actions. These poems honor and celebrate the natural world and re-enage the reader with nature in its renowned strengths, its intimate interpenetrations and its often overlooked fragility. Focusing completely on the environment of the Rocky Mountain region of Colorado, these pastoral and anti-pastoral poems resonate with the beauty and demise of our natural heritage. With the environmental events of the Rocky Mountain West are serving as the canary in the coal mine for the rest of the world, Cirque & Sky is an important text in the environmental literary canon of the American West. "Evoking a 'periodic table of agitation' over the continued environmental plunder of Colorado and by extension the world, this powerful and beautiful book asks "How long before we are all fluent in earth?" It is a question for our times."

-John Calderazzo, author of Rising Fire: Volcanoes & Our Inner Lives

To catalog ruin is an impulse long-embedded in poetry. Rarer is that vision that, in listing the scars of history and the scars of use, the harms of industry and the land's blatant abuse, also knows it must sing back against the bruise of real beauty. Kathleen Willard's Cirque & Sky attunes its lyric eye to the local ecological crises ranging from the ravishes of pine beetles, to the orange bloom of Benzene in rivers, to children sledding down radioactive mine tailings Uravan, Colorado. But rather than lament, these poems seek, as Emerson would have it, that genius that repairs the decay of things. For hers is a vision that includes love, of other and of land, and love so abounds here, that song offers its necessary resistance to ruin.

-Dan Beachy-Quick


Kathleen Willard's Cirque & Sky won the Fledge Poetry Award from Middle Creek Publishing & Audio. Her poems have appeared in Bombay Gin, Matter, Pinyon Poetry Review, Flint Hill Review, and in the anthologies Landscape and Place, The Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park, Proud to Be, Against Agamemnon, Icarus and elsewhere. She received fellowships for two residencies at the Vermont Studio Center and to attend the Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon, Portugal. She received a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship to study and write in India. The Denver Botanic Gardens & the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art commissioned a series of letterpress broadsides as part of their CSArt Share Program, and she served as the Guest Artist at the Tin Shop in Breckenridge in 2017.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780997420036
ISBN-10: 0997420030
Publisher: Middle Creek Publishing & Audio / Ecoco Books
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2016
Pages: 36
Language: English