Winner of the 2022 Michael Waters Poetry Prize.
AT THE LEPIDOPTERIST’S HOUSE invites the reader to explore natural and mythic landscapes, examine the interiors of marriage and the domestic, and consider the bodies of animals as vessels of memory and imagination. At times through the lens of scientific observation or artistic rendering, at others through lived experience, the speakers of these poems face separation from places and people, gathering real and remembered artifacts as a means of better understanding our tumultuous world. This collection is a meditation on the ways one can lose and reimagine home, on what it means to love and to grieve, to find freedom and lightness among the weight of the material and the human.
Poetry. Family & Relationships.
“In her third collection of poetry, Chelsea Woodard’s gifts are in full bloom. Her dexterity with rhyme, rhythm, and tactile animal and mineral imagery recalls Sylvia Plath’s most formidable and monumental poems of memorial. Woodard’s craft is, in fact, so polished here as to be almost transparent, showcasing a richness of heartfelt tender emotion, a quietly melancholy awareness of the bodily frailty and transience that defines our shared humanity. Her blend of sophisticated technique and deeply affecting poignancy proves that, like the goddess Eris’s apples, verse can be outwardly ‘golden and sweet’ and yet remain challengingly complex and multidimensional; the poems in this book are at once artfully formed and appealingly free from ‘the gnarled grip // of manners.’” —Jenna Le
Chelsea Woodard is also the author of the collections Vellum (Able Muse Press, 2014) and Solitary Bee (Measure Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, Southwest Review, 32 Poems, River Styx, Blackbird, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship from the Sewanee Writers' Conference and a residency at Vermont Studio Center. Woodard teaches at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire.