Cold Pastoral

Cold Pastoral
Cold Pastoral

Cold Pastoral

“Eloquent as the wounds of Nature themselves.” —JOSHUA COREY
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A searing, urgent collection of poems that brings the lyric and documentary together in unparalleled ways—unmasking and examining the specter of manmade disaster.

On September 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed eleven men and began what would become the largest oil spill ever in US waters. On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, leading to a death toll that is still unconfirmed. And in April 2014, the Flint water crisis began, exposing thousands of people to lead-contaminated drinking water. This is the litany of our time—and these are the events that Rebecca Dunham traces, passionately and brilliantly, in Cold Pastoral.

In poems that incorporate interviews and excerpts from government documents and other sources—poems that adopt the pastoral and elegiac traditions in a landscape where “I can’t see the bugs; I don’t hear the birds”—Dunham invokes the poet as moral witness. “I owe him,” she writes of one man affected by the oil spill, “must learn, at last, how to look.”

Experimental and incisive, Cold Pastoral is a collection that reveals what poetry can—and, perhaps, should—be, reflecting ourselves and our world back with gorgeous clarity.

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5.5 × 8.5 × 0.19 in
4 oz
Rebecca Dunham

Rebecca Dunham is the author of Cold Pastoral and three previous collections of poems, including Glass Armonica, winner of the 2013 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry, and The Miniature Room, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize.

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Blog Post

Milkweed Staff – 01/26/2017

climatefacts.png Today—two days after Donald Trump ordered a media blackout at all government agencies, and one day after employees of...