The Cold and the Rust
Emily Van Kley
Winner of the 2016 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry
A tender portrait of a queer girlhood on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. In this lyrical and unflinching debut, a landscape of staggering beauty abuts industrial towns in the throes of economic decay. Emily Van Kley explores notions of home, estrangement, isolation, and longing against a backdrop of crystalline winters, Lake Superior’s mythic tempers, and forests as vast as they are close.
“Van Kley imbues her sharp debut collection with the complex, wistful nostalgia an outsider feels for her hometown. She alternates moments of humor with instances of darkness and melancholy, writing of deer hunts, menstrual cramps, and even an aquarium of fish left to freeze in a home without heat. Van Kley precisely captures the deathly pall of a Midwestern winter in this remarkably vivid exploration of how it feels to leave home and then return.”
Emily Van Kley was raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula but now lives with her partner in Olympia, Washington, where she writes, works at a cooperative grocery, and teaches and perform aerial acrobatics. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous publications and anthologies, including The Iowa Review, Prairie Schooner, The Mississippi Review, Best New Poets 2013, and Best American Poetry 2017.
Paperback / $15.95 (Can. $21.95) / ISBN 978-0-89255-488-1 / 78 pages / Poetry
⤖Read more about our poetry imprint.