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  Erica Funkhouser

ISBN 978-0-9981963-8-1     $18.00  /  $21.00 (Canada)     6.5 x 7.5       

70 pp      
PUB DATE: March 2018       Book Release Featured Poetry


The formal deftness of these couplets—three per page of almost exactly the same length which are, yes, a set of fence rails. Some might find that sort of strategy suspect: the idea that a formal or structural device could shape a collection in a meaningful way, but in this case, it is so very well done. The collection’s personal, at least historically personal—family history, in which we get to know an evermore silent coal miner father and a eerily silent-but-communicative mother, as well as the fences, literal and figurative, that keep them separate and together. The family is the fence and the fence is the family; we’re on one side, and we’re on the other side of those rails. Add to this certain aspects of astronomical physics (black holes, the big bang, the sound of the universe speaking), and the book is both modest and immensely ambitious.

—Robert Wrigley, Final Judge of The Idaho Prize for Poetry 2017

About the Author

Erica Funkhouser

ERICA FUNKHOUSER’S previous collections of poems—Earthly (2008), Pursuit (2002), The Actual World (1997), Sure Shot and Other Poems (1992), and Natural Affinities (1983)—were published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Alice James Books. Included in Sure Shot and Other Poems are three dramatic monologues in the voices of 19th century women: Sacagawea, Louisa May Alcott, and Annie Oakley. The Oakley poem was adapted for the stage by the Helicon Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Funkhouser’s work on Sacagawea led her to become involved with the production of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary on the Lewis and Clark Expedition; her essay on Sacagawea appears in Ken Burns’ and Dayton Duncan’s Lewis and Clark (Knopf, 1997). Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Poetry, Agni, and other magazines. One of her poems has been sand-blasted into the Davis Square MBTA Station in Somerville, Massachusetts. A 2007 recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Funkhouser lives in Essex, Massachusetts and teaches writing at MIT.



The post is lowly. One may be a pillar of the community; who’s a post?,
With more elevation, it becomes a pole; with less, a stump. Some girth

is required. Plumpness of the sedentary. No figure to speak of. Minus
a few inches it’s a stake. Column implies a surrounding edifice. None.

Humming with resin when fresh: confidence of the newly sunk. Come,
lend me your elbows. Soon it goes gray and softens, softens into time.

—Erica Funkhouser