by Kelly Forsythe


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The events of 1999’s Columbine shooting preoccupy Forsythe in these poems, refracting her vision to encompass killer, victim, and herself as a girl, suddenly aware of the precarity of her own life and the porousness of her body to others’ gaze, demands, violence. Deeply researched and even more deeply felt, Perennial inhabits landscapes of emerging adulthood and explosive cruelty—the hills of Pittsburgh and the sere grass of Colorado; the spines of books in a high school library that has become a killing ground; the tenderness of children as they grow up and grow hard, becoming acquainted with dread, grief, and loss.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566895170
Publisher: Coffee House Press
Publication date: 08/07/2018
Pages: 75
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)

Table of Contents

Opening Doors 1

Historical Documents 3

Moral Panic 4

Colony Collapse 6

1999 8

Curved 9

Requiem 10

Colorado, Hunting 11

A poem in which I am dreaming 12

No, Everything 13

Call to Action 14

Planner Notes, 7th grade 16

We Are in a Room with Small Windows 18

The Skeptic 19

The Stranger 20

Transcript: Basement Tape 21

Before and After Peril 22

Helix 23

Muscle Memory 24

But the Ghosts 25

Hold My Wrist 27

We drove looking for ghosts on the gravel road 28

Journal 29

Emotional Intelligence 30

Witness 32

Red Earth 34

Library Version 35

Jefferson County 36

Flood Water 37

Through the science lab window 38

Landscape: Witness Report 40

Indoor Voices 41

Homeroom 42

Day Zero 44

Cliff Theory 45

I wanted to live, of course 46

Sleepwalking after CCD 49

Periphery 51

Imagining an Aftermath 52

Springtime 53

Perennial 54

The Journal of the Girls 55

Slow Burn 57

Part Nocturne 58

Portrait 59

March 60

Reunion 61

Notes 63

Acknowledgments 65

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