Once, This Forest Belonged to a Storm by Austen Leah Rose
Juniper Prize for Poetry
Does history live inside of us? Are we capable of transcending the past or are we destined to repeat it? With understated humor and grace, Once, This Forest Belonged to a Storm wrestles with questions of inheritance, spiritual unrest, the integrity of the self, and humanity’s relationship to the natural world. Excavating both personal and historical trauma and the rippling effects of the Holocaust, Austen Leah Rose writes of “the silence that follows after silence.” The poems in this debut collection map a surreal journey from alienation to belonging, as our speaker floats across the night sky over Los Angeles, communes with Shakespeare in a hotel room, attends a dinner party in outer space, and drifts down a river for fourteen years with her sister.
Year first published: 2023