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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.
About the Author
Table of ContentsThrow
Windthrow [When an oak leans]
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
Or Only Here, Brambling
Mother Goose Testament
Love before Love
Another Prophecy Unfulfilled
Radishes and Any Small Thing
What People are Saying About This
“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.””
"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."