Slate Roof Press


Everything Begins Somewhere


Price: $17.00
Letterpress Cover
Handsewn Binding
ISBN: 978-1-64826-566-2

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Winner of the Slate Roof Press Chapbook Award, Everything Begins Somewhere harnesses a deceptively simple narrative with common events to reveal a luminous generosity of spirit.

It is too late to become a supermodel, etc.

Think of the trombone. Take its long metal body,
plant the tuning slide in the ground
and fill its bell with berries. Any berries will do
as long as they are fat and render the trombone
silent. Think of your grandfather,
who was musical in high school and
after that always sad. Ask yourself how long
you could mourn a stolen trombone,
ask yourself if you'll accept regret,
ask yourself what it means
to be made of brass—always moaning.

It is not for you to become the instrument:
you are already something else
perhaps unsuited to a flared lip and
being planted like lawn art.
Think of what you are meant to do.
Walk into the estuary that smells of salt, picking
seaweed from your ankles. Think of how far
you can swim because you are not a trombone.


Amanda Doster’s poems operate out of a patience and a curiosity that enlarge attention, so that it can become what attention always longs to be: a form of love. These poems are about the life of the spirit, day-to-day—the ordinary miracle that is always taking place around us. They make wonder out of acceptance.

—David Rivard, author of Standoff

I just have questions,” admits the speaker in Amanda Doster’s luminous book. But be not afraid; even though she may not have answers, questions themselves are a balm when rendered with Doster’s precise and tender beauty. Her poems are playful, even as they ask us to get serious. Gentle, but unrelentingly clear-eyed. Her questions are the big ones: identity, language, memory, motherhood, fidelity. “Think of what you are meant to do,” Doster’s speaker implores. Luckily for us, Doster was meant to write these generous, insightful, terrifically human poems.

—Amy Dryansky, author of Grass Whistle and How I Got Lost So Close to Home

Amanda Doster

Amanda Lou Doster was the winner of the 2nd Annual Slate Roof Press Chapbook Contest. She has won the Poet's Seat Poetry Contest and was a finalist in the Hedgerow Books Competition. Her work has appeared in Cider Press Review and Sidelines, among other journals. Her chapbook, Everything Begins Somewhere, was published by Slate Roof Press in the summer of 2020. She holds an MFA from the University of New Hampshire and lives in Greenfield, MA.