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Five Oaks Press



The Forest of the Suburbs

In The Forest of the Suburbs, Molly Kugel identifies the liminal spaces where human civilization encroaches on animal habitat. She mines those spaces for their images and pathos, finding moments of connection and understanding, as well as sorrow for how our technologies are often so hostile to nonhuman life.


The Forest of the Suburbs occupies the liminal place where  the housing development meets the prairie where a coyote might appear on the planned streets among the numbered houses...Molly Kugel writes with a truth-telling lyric insistence, with the natural eye of Marianne Moore and the quiet wisdom of Elizabeth Bishop. She not only challenges our detachment and indifference, but carries us forward breath by breath, poem by poem, line by line to some place simultaneous beautiful and painful and always transformative. 
It is oddly reassuring to discover these poems---to know that someone with this type of vision and ability is out there and paying attention. 

--Eliot Khalil Wilson, The Saint of Letting Small Fish Go and The Island of Dogs

The Forest of the Suburbs paints loss as mammalian language, speaking on behalf of those already disappeared. Human encroachment on the wild and the brutality of domestication rivets the reader. Death sounds like the cracking husks and shells, and smells like soil, as angels take the form of buffalo; a mother with wind in her arms resembles a spider plant, and a son plans to become a pelican, "grow a throat pouch, / pale plumage, and fly in a "U" shape." All the while, whales return to the same spot of the coast of Northern Vancouver Island to mourn, and bears sway their heads back and forth, hoping to catch a scent of what they can't see: the tenderness of Kugel's delivery. 

--Spring Ulmer, The Age of Virtual Reproduction and Benjamin's Spectacles  

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