Conditions of the Wounded
Wisconsin Poetry Series
Ronald Wallace and Sean Bishop, Series Editors
“A poetry of narrative tension, lyrical beauty, and incredible, breath-stealing imagination. These poems show place as a reliquary of trauma but they also show how joy and love can rise in even the most broken places. Grief struck and haunted, these are points of hope and light in a way only poems can be.”
In her startling debut, Anna Knowles lays bare the suburban violence and wrenching pain that bely clean white picket fences and houses neatly aligned down neighborhood streets. In the haunting shadow of the Rocky Mountains, from cowboy restaurants and Coors Field to Columbine High School and AA meeting spaces, her poetry explores how fear, pain, and anguish can unexpectedly take hold and settle into the smallest spaces within us.
By never shying away from the darkness, Knowles illuminates what it truly means to portray grit, to survive, to take root and bloom. These poems include strong yet imperfect characters struggling against addiction, grief, and hopelessness. Charged moments of rebellion and grief coexist alongside love and care. Conditions of the Wounded disrupts expectations and challenges us to look deep beyond the surface.
I wanted to know how to plot a course
through her threatening
lungs. But if fear was a house,
it was ours. Absence of breath struck us down
each heart-shaken day.
—Excerpt from “Conditions of the Wounded”
“In her astonishing debut collection, Anna Leigh Knowles probes the anguish of a childhood and young adulthood. These poems shimmer with dynamic lyricism, deft storytelling, and unwavering candor. Knowles spins the beautiful, crackling music of a world that simultaneously dazzles and wounds.”
—Brian Barker, author of Vanishing Acts
Of Related Interest
LC: 2020035436 PS
96 pp. 6 x 9