by K. A. Hays


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Windthrow by K. A. Hays

Windthrow: a forestry term for the uprooting or breaking of trees by wind. The voices of K. A. Hays’ third volume of poetry speak out of nature’s violent transformations. At turns self-effacing and empathic, fearful and accepting, these are poems of heat: the heat of new motherhood, of uncertainty, and of grief. Here, the things of a teeming world—” the truck stacked with cut trees,” “the military jet, droning over,” and “the beachgrass, blown / with dusty miller sprout”—are bound for renewal and ruin. In poems spare and strange, Hays looks outward to lay bare the complexities of our emotional lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780887486197
Publisher: Carnegie-Mellon University Press
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Series: Carnegie Mellon Poetry Series
Pages: 64
Sales rank: 1,230,830
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.30(d)

About the Author

K. A. HAYS's poems, short fiction, and verse translations have appeared in Best American Poetry, Best New Poets, and widely in magazines and journals. Born in Pennsylvania, Hays was educated at Bucknell, Oxford, and Brown universities. She is director of the Bucknell Seminar for Undergraduate Poets.

Table of Contents


Windthrow [When an oak leans]
Of Grief
Skunk Cabbage Testament
Of Outrageous Fortune
I Asked the Flood, Are You Happy?
Windthrow [Last night’s kindling]
On the Day the World Is Forecast to End and Does Not

Sow and Reap

First Lesson
Or Only Here, Brambling
Mother Goose Testament
Love before Love
Another Prophecy Unfulfilled
Radishes and Any Small Thing
In Heat

What People are Saying About This

Todd Davis

“K. A. Hays is an indispensable poet whose exquisite and fierce music captures the other-than-human world of fallen trees and scuttling crabs, skunk cabbage and damselflies, the mortal questions of all things that are born only to perish. She leads her reader into quietness, even while the world around her is storm-tossed, reminding us that “In widening, // a lily mouths its dirge / in praise of now.””

Mary Szybist

"K. A. Hays'sWindthrowtakes us on intimate pilgrimages into imperiled spaces. Its subtle, finely-tuned art gathers up perception in its fissures and folds and offers it back to us as vision. Austere in their unwillingness to chatter, extravagant in their willingness to unflinchingly face each hollowing-out strangeness of mind and world, these poems are radiant wonders."

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