THEN & AGAIN by Catherine Stearns

All we can do is wait

Price: $17.00
Chapbook
Letterpress Cover
Handsewn Binding
ISBN: 978-1-64255-798-5


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The poems in Then & Again thread the act of remembering and its attendant questions (“why else love what we love?”) with meditations on the present made possible by the past.

The language of memory—personal, intimate, and local— expands outwardly until the land itself remembers, history remembers, and ultimately all are a source for remaking.


From “Questions of Home”

He stepped down from the rear axle,
jelly legs shaking, engulfed
by the humidity of late afternoon

when the turning-over of the engine
and the shushing of the radiator
dissolved into the almighty

buzzing of August: mosquitoes,
deerflies, grasshoppers, cicadas.
Ground juniper crunching underfoot.

Every day in the same place,
the blue shadow of a red barn door,
he listened, dependably amazed.


A fragment from Sappho introduces Catherine Stearns’ beautiful new collection, Then & Again: “…but I say / that whatever one loves is.” It’s an apt epigraph for poems that traffic in the mystery of what it is to abide among the living and the vanished. There’s spareness here, wisdom, a keen ear, and no sugarcoating. She names what we lose, and gives the dead wings—which of course is that second life to which Sappho alludes.

—Andrea Cohen, author of Unfathoming

In these passionate, wary meditations, Catherine Stearns is constantly aware that the self is mostly “afloat, / alone,” yet determined to find sharable truths that help us keep the self’s selvage from unraveling. Her lines always feel deeply chosen. They pierce the silences between persons with a fine needle.

—Mark Halliday, author of Thresherphobe


Kate

Catherine (Kate) Stearns' book, Then & Again, was the winner of the Slate Roof Press chapbook contest. Her previous book of poetry, The Transparency of Skin, published by New Rivers Press, was a Minnesota Voices Project Winner. Kate has recent poems in Salamander, New Ohio Review, North American Review, The Southwest Review, and Yale Review, among other journals, and has had poems featured in Poetry Daily and American Life in Poetry. Her work has been anthologized in The House on Via Gambito: A Collection of Writing by American Women Abroad, and she has received grants and awards from the Iowa Arts Council, the Loft-McKnight Foundation, the Dana Award, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. She lives in South Natick with her husband, Richard Klug, a cinematographer and film director. A long-time teacher of writing and literature, she is currently writer-in-residence at the Roxbury Latin School in Boston.