Best Bones

A uniquely American fairy tale. In these tales, gender, war, religion, and the American South are some of the subjects that children are coming to grips with. When Ed Ochester calls Nordgren's poems 'part Alice in Wonderland,' he gets it just right-their lines remind us that sometimes the kids are in charge, the adults don't have all the answers, and the moral doesn't make sense . . . Our worst tragedies and our greatest joys are the interruptions, the realities of life and the morals of stories. Through a series of wondrous, fantastical images, Nordgren conveys unspeakable emotion. We're transported back to the first time someone stood over us with the offer of only a story, begging us to listen closely.
Coal Hill Review
Winner of the 2013 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

Winner of the 2013 Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize

Best Bones is a house. When you walk around the rooms of the house, you overhear the desires and griefs of a family, as well as the unresolved concerns of lingering ghosts. The various voices in the house struggle against the family roles and social identities that they must wear like heavy garments—mother, father, wife, husband, sister, brother, servant, and master. All these voices crave unification; they want to join themselves into one whole sentient being, into “a mansion steering itself.”

The poems in Best Bones also explore the experience of living in a physical body, and how the natural world intersects with manmade landscapes and technologies. In it, mother has a reset button, servants blend into the furniture, and a doctor patiently oversees the pregnancy of the earth.

In these poems, the body is a working machine, a repository of childhood myth and archetype, and a window to the spiritual world. The poems strive to be visceral on the level of dream, or of a story that is half remembered and half fabricated.

88 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

September, 2014

isbn : 9780822963172

about the author

Sarah Rose Nordgren

Sarah Rose Nordgren is the author of Best Bones, winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize. Her poems and essays appear widely in national journals such as AGNI, Ploughshares, Kenyon Review, and American Poetry Review, and she is the recipient of two winter fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Nordgren is currently a doctoral candidate in poetry at the University of Cincinnati.

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Sarah Rose Nordgren