We could try writing letters, one of us said to the other after our cross-country trip was over and we weren't done talking. Talking about hurricanes, fires, floods, droughts, freezes. About shootings, bombings, border crises, #MeToo. Jewishness, whiteness, feminism. Fear, ambition, desire. Work, marriage, friendship. Grief, anger, illness, and suicide. At once anecdotal, philosophical, political, and deeply personal, the letters quickly come to sustain a different kind of present moment: a way of finding self through other, a portal into urgent and shared contemplation, a means of saying what otherwise feels unsayable. Propelled by events both public and private, these epistolary essays comprise a catalog of living with and thinking through the climatic disturbances that determine our lives. Finding kinship in other epistolary exchanges, from Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs to Etel Adnan's Of Cities and Women to Martin Land and Jonathan Boyarin's Time and Human Language Now, they inhabit the experiment of talking and listening in the unspooling, untenable now, while exploring what it means to be an "I" and a "you" in the alternate present letters invent.
Julie Carr is the author of ten books of poetry and prose, most recently Real Life: An Installation (Omindawn 2018), OBJECTS FROMA BORROWED CONFESSION (Ahsahta, 2017), and Someone Shot my Book (University of Michigan Press, 2018). She is the co-editor of Active Romanticism (University of Alabama Press, 2015) and co-translator of Leslie Kaplan's Excess-The Factory (Commune Editions, 2018). Recipient of an NEA fellowship, Carr is a Professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder in English and Creative Writing. With Tim Roberts she is the co-founder of Counterpath Press, Counterpath Gallery, and Counterpath Community Garden in Denver.Lisa Olstein is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Late Empire (Copper Canyon Press, 2017), and a book- length lyric essay, Pain Studies (Bellevue Literary Press, 2020). Dream Apartment, her fifth book of poems, is forthcoming in 2023. Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Lannan Literary Residency, Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, Pushcart Prize, and Hayden Carruth Award, she is a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin where she teaches in the New Writers Project and Michener Center for Writers MFA programs.Author City: USA