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Discontinued Township Roads, Poems by Abby Chew
"Come here, she says./Come here and listen." And watch: "My god, I am struck/down by the beauty of this..." The speakers of Abby Chew's Discontinued Township Roads embrace the world fiercely, and invite the reader into that embrace.
“Abby Chew’s Discontinued Township Roads captures a country at once wonderfully strange and disconcertingly familiar. Across these taut, lyrical poems, Sister reckons her way through a life intimate with land and work, the mysteries of family and desire. Chew’s quick, measured lines breathe into the aching, resonant distances that exist between us: lovers, sister and brother, daughter and father. These poems are defined as much by what they leave unsaid as what they reveal: we glimpse a family’s life in flared fragments, as a field revealed in lightning. The reader is left to create the constellation that binds these finely crafted pieces to each other. Chew reminds us how hungry we are for each other’s stories, for the experience of the world we can never fully share with another. The poems suggest that we have to teach ourselves to hear the answers the world sings in response to our wanting. A bird drowns another bird. A girl wants to be distilled like the sap of a maple to a darker, better self. A horse’s ears turn as you murmur, ‘You are beautiful.’ Like Sister calling down bats with her blues harp, Abby Chew’s clear-eyed, deeply felt, and deftly wrought collection brings us in from the dark to listen.”—Colin Cheney
Abby Chew earned an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BA from DePauw University. For many years, she herded goats and taught at Olney Friends School in southeastern Ohio. Then she packed the dog in the truck and moved to Claremont, California, where she teaches at The Webb Schools. The dog’s name is Alice. They both miss the goats.
ISBN: 978-1625490599, 84 pages