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WHAT DOES NOT RETURN
CARIBOU
POST & RAIL
THIS DREAM THE WORLD: New & Selected Poems
NASTY WOMEN POETS: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse
THE OPEN HAND
WHAT DOES NOT RETURN  
|
  Tami Haaland

ISBN 978-0-9981963-6-7    $18.00  /  $21.00 (Canada)    5.5 x 8.5   80 pp   March 2018    Book Release Featured Poetry





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Tami Haaland’s exquisite and necessary book of poems, What Does Not Return, is a rare account of the experience we have come to call, rightly, care-giving. With ritual attentiveness, in small, deeply considered gestures, in words exchanged at the altar of grief, she shows us what it might mean to honor and celebrate what is given to us and what is taken away. From the moving first poems, in which she witnesses her mother’s daily diminishment and eventual death from dementia, to the last, when she finds herself searching silently for an escaped rabbit in the night, these poems remind us that, if we are here, we are all “graveside,” sitting “on the edge, legs dangling.” We are here on the verge of tears, where the daylight is.

—Melissa Kwasny

What Does Not Return is remarkable—pity and common joy intermingling. The ceremony of language that poetry is carries throughout the book. We hear a lift in the writer’s sentences and deft handling of pace in every poem. We see the entrance of light and the light that remains after the poem is finished, a mother’s life put away. Our life’s story is told, the end especially, with grave dignity. And, as it is with ceremonies, a sense of what is pure also remains, a sense that we are “awake in ways” that we “couldn’t have sustained earlier.”

—Carol Frost

About the Author

Tami Haaland

TAMI HAALAND is the author of two previous books of poetry, When We Wake in the Night and Breath in Every Room, winner of the Nicholas Roerich First Book Award from Story Line Press. Her poems have appeared in High Desert Journal, Consequence, Ascent, The Ecopoetry Anthology, and many other publications. Her work has also been featured on The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and American Life in Poetry. Haaland received an Artist Innovation Award from Montana Arts Council in 2012 and served as Montana’s Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015. She teaches at Montana State University Billings.

TamiH

 
WHAT LIGHT REMAINS

What is left streams through
late autumn haze and windows to warm
patches of carpet, brightening and
lengthening the space near the rocker.
Her feet touch down, square to the frame.

What light remains you see in her eyes,
her heavy lids, the bare expression of thin lips.
If only the words could ready themselves.
If only the gesture could unfold.
If only the body could launch.

—Tami Haaland