Author: Julia Koets
Publishers: Southern Indiana Review Press (2021)
Pine maps a secret relationship between two women in the South, where certain kinds of desire—queer desire, in particular—have historically been hidden and feared. Creating new landscapes of identity by reimagining form, modifying villanelles, sonnets, elegies, thank-you notes, and dictionary entries, Pine's imagistic and metaphorical associations between the body and the natural world form a queer ecology of longing and loss.
“Julia Koets shows us in the sinews of her images how growing up in a small town in the South, while abiding by one’s queer heart, requires an imaginative and oft-unsung resourcefulness. These poems stunningly herald the girls ‘who lie down in fields, their bicycles / on their sides, too, like horses / asleep in the sun.’ In this formally inventive collection, you’ll also find an interdisciplinary study of Eros, a string of mostly well-behaved thank-you notes, and a whole antlery of villanelles. Pine is a necessary and erotic record of deviations and a fearless collection.”
“In Pine, Julia Koets has created a new queer catalog, a field guide for those of us who couldn’t claim a vocabulary in the closets of our youth, much less rely on any kind of compass. In doing so, this moving collection redeploys, with remarkable candor, the language used against us—sometimes out of our own mouths—and brings memory close enough to reconsider with the intelligence and finesse time affords. Pine reminds me that a queer root is as much about desire as it is about survival, and Koets is a worthy guide in both pursuits.”