That Winter the Wolf Came
Author: Juliana Spahr
Publisher: Commune Editions (2015)
That Winter the Wolf Came is written for this era of global struggle. It finds its ferment at the intersection of ecological and economic catastrophe such as the carbon disasters of Deepwater Horizon and the burning Kuwaiti oilfields. And it finds its feminist, ferocious, and finally celebratory energy in the example of the street protests of Oakland, California, and elsewhere. Amid oil spills and austerity measures and shore birds and a child holding its mother’s hand and hissing teargas canisters, it reminds us exactly what we must fight to defend with a wild ferocity, and what we’re up against.
"Geography, economics, ecology, hydrology, local and international history; repetition, flat limited diction, lengthy chant; intersections of incompatible discourses, such as a field biologist’s checklist plus memoir, medical record plus ode, incantation plus site report: Spahr draws on these resources and procedures to make poems that feel like bizarre, careful essays, and essays that feel like sad, extended poems."
“By listing, by naming, the atrocities—the harrowing stats, the scary particulars—in our world-at-endless-war, we might at least exert control over our sanity and extend our mind and compassion to others. It is a connected universe as Spahr so forcefully reminds us.”