Influenced by survival lessons from the natural world, Cleopatra Mathis’ Book of Dog traces a harrowing personal journey from hard endings — a divorce, the death of a beloved dog — to the fierce arrival of acceptance and change. All manner of life thrives in these pages–plovers, foxes, the companionable beetle on the bedpost, and the coyotes just beyond her back door. This poet’s discerning eye, focused on the stringent truth of what she sees around her, aims outward and refuses the sentimental. Throughout the search, she is guided by the unbounded faithfulness and wisdom of her noble and comic companions on the path.
Cleopatra Mathis was born and raised in Ruston, Louisiana. The author of six books of poems, her work has appeared widely in anthologies, textbooks, magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, Poetry, and American Poetry Review. Prizes for her work include two National Endowment for the Arts grants, the Jane Kenyon Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Robert Frost Award, and fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and others. Mathis is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Dartmouth College, where she directs the creative writing program.
"Animals dominate this humane and serious sixth collection from Mathis, at first in the chill forests of New England, and then in and around the sea.... Mathis's pages show heart, observation, and thought; they also show a loneliness, and a sense of lost human connection assuaged by instinct, by 'her own animal self.'" --Publishers Weekly
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Cleopatra Mathis' best bookpoems that counter absence with dogs, ducks, and spiders in the wilderness just beyond her back door.