‘Meltwater’ by Claire Wahmanholm: Mother, Earth

by Zoe Binder

Claire Wahmanholm’s latest poetry collection, Meltwater (128 pages; Milkweed Editions), is both a lament for the Earth as it suffers the harmful effects of climate change and a poignant reminder of the joys that make life worthwhile despite this loss. Wahmanholm centers the collection on two recurring series of poems—“Glacier” and “Meltwater”—that follow the anxieties of a person raising children on our threatened planet. In “Glacier,” the speaker battles feelings of grief at the sight of a calving glacier—and guilt at the thought of children experiencing a world without these geological formations: I am trying to say it’s too late […]

Continue Reading

Queering Language: ‘Feeld’ by Jos Charles


A few days ago, I woke up half-dreaming in the made-up language of Jos Charles’s feeld (64 pages; Milkweed Editions), which is to say I landed softly. feeld –– which is currently longlisted for the 2018 National Book Award in poetry –– challenges the reader to engage with a singular, complex voice (“Chaucerian English [translated] into the digital twenty-first century,” as Fady Joudah notes on the book’s jacket), but one that is also accessible and refined. Throughout the book, which contains sixty short poems, it is evident Charles is a poet who values breath and space. Both aurally and visually, the […]

Continue Reading