Current Read: Michelle Penaloza’s landscape/heartbreak (Poetry)

I love the concept behind landscape/heartbreak as much as its gorgeous poetry. The poems were written by Michelle Peñaloza for different people, some total strangers before this project, who took her on walks to various places around Seattle where their hearts had been broken – whether by breakups or death. A strong sense of place and movement keeps the collection from falling into overt grief or sentimentality. The feeling of recovery, or at least epiphany, is infused in even the most traumatic reflection. It’s an extraordinarily unique yet utterly relatable collection born of the most human of connections – shared loss and location. You can read my favorite poem from the chapbook, “Remove All the Dads,” in its entirety at TriQuarterly.

“The cherry trees on this street keep dying.”
Boom, boom, boom. He shoots down the row

of this treelined street with fingertip
bullets and bullets of exhausted breath.
-Michelle Peñaloza

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Michelle Peñaloza Official Site