Award-winning poet Heather Christle has just lost a dear friend to suicide and must reckon with her own struggles with depression and the birth of her first child. How she
faces her joy, grief, anxiety, impending motherhood, and conflicted truce with the world results in a moving meditation on the nature, rapture, and perils of crying—from the
history of tear-catching gadgets (including the woman who designed a gun that shoots tears) to the science behind animal tears (including moths who drink them) to the fraught
role of white women’s tears in racist violence.
Told in short, poetic snippets, The Crying Book delights and surprises, as well as rigorously examines how mental illness can affect a family across generations and how crying can express women’s agency—or lack of agency—in everyday life. Christle’s gift is the freshness of her voice and honesty of her approach, both of which create an intimacy with readers as she explores a human behavior broadly experienced but rarely questioned. A beautiful tribute to the power of crying, and to working through despair to tears of joy.
Heather Christle is the author of the poetry collections The Difficult Farm; The Trees The Trees, which won the Believer Poetry Award; What Is Amazing; and Heliopause. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, London Review of Books, Poetry, and many other journals. She teaches creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. The Crying Book is her first book of nonfiction.
KAMILAH AISHA MOON is the author of Starshine & Clay (2017), a CLMP Firecracker Award finalist featured on NPR's "All Things Considered" as a collection that captures America in poetry, and She Has a Name (2013), a finalist for both the Audre Lorde and Lambda Literary Awards, Kamilah Aisha Moon's work has been published widely, including in Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, Poem-A-Day, PBS Newshour, Buzzfeed and elsewhere. A Pushcart Prize winner and 2015 New American Poet who has received fellowships to MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center and Hedgebrook, she holds an M.F.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and is an assistant professor of creative writing at Agnes Scott College.
"A poignant and piercing examination of the phenomenon of tears--exhaustive, yes, but also open-ended. . . A deeply felt, and genuinely touching, book." --Esm Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias
Heather Christle's stunning fourth collection blends disarming honesty with keen leaps of the imagination. Like the boundary between our sun's sphere of influence and interstellar space, from which the book takes its name, the poems in Heliopause locate themselves along the border of the known and unknown, moving with breathtaking assurance from the page to the beyond.
Inspired by a voracious curiosity about humans and other subjects, the poems in Heather Christle's What Is Amazing describe and invent worlds in an attempt to understand through participation. The book draws upon the wisdom of foolishness and the logic of glee, while simultaneously exploring the suffering inherent to embodied consciousness.
We are making our lives up “here on this bridge / between starshine and clay” (Lucille Clifton). Addressing tough circumstances tenderly, this book is about life—what we inherit, what we create, what shapes us, what’s possible.
With unrelenting yet tender honesty, She Has a Name tells the story of a young woman with autism from multiple points of view. The speakers in these poems—sisters, mother, father, teacher—seek to answer questions science can’t yet answer, seek to protect the young woman, and seek to understand what autism means to their own lives as well.