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State of Grass / Janet MacFadyen

State of Grass

By: Janet MacFadyen

€12.00
With photographs by Stephen H. SchmidtIn State of Grass, Janet MacFadyen’s poems move from immobilizing childhood silence into memory. Potatoes in the earth, peat bogs, cicada husks, and abandoned towns reveal their histories in a process that speaks to loyalties and power played out in the domestic arena. The fierce, unacknowledged dynamics between parent and child, husband and wife are compassionately and deeply explored i...
ISBN 978-1-915022-50-9
Pub Date Monday, February 26, 2024
Cover Image Cover photograph by Stephen H. Schmidt
Page Count 100
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With photographs by Stephen H. Schmidt


In State of Grass, Janet MacFadyen’s poems move from immobilizing childhood silence into memory. Potatoes in the earth, peat bogs, cicada husks, and abandoned towns reveal their histories in a process that speaks to loyalties and power played out in the domestic arena. The fierce, unacknowledged dynamics between parent and child, husband and wife are compassionately and deeply explored in this story of human failings, love, and resilience.


“I first encountered State of Grass at an annual reading from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. There are no accidents. Janet MacFadyen has crafted a collection no less epic in its subject, introspection, or homage. Both a haunt and a triumph, State of Grass’ exploration of familial trauma emulates Muriel Rukeyser’s provocation: “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” I will never forget MacFadyen’s fissures of healing and reclamation as an invitation to each of us to split open our worlds of truth.”

Sandra Yannone

author of Boats for Women


“What is it to write your way out? To write your way through? .... What is it to give language to a story obscured, to recall something the mind refuses to access but the body cannot forget? For Janet MacFadyen, this work is the work of the pen, relentless and oracular, raging as wildfire might to make a roaring song, burning what needs to be burned away, cracking open longforgotten seeds that require such intensity, and ultimately, scribing into the sky a dark smoke that signals a survivor’s determination to speak, saying, here, here are my words, I am still here ....”

Nickole Brown

author of Sister

Janet MacFadyen

Janet MacFadyen is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Adrift in the House of Rocks (photo-poetry collaboration from New Feral Press 2019) and Waiting to Be Born (Dos Madres 2017). Her work has been nominated for the Forward Prize, three Pushcarts, and Best of the Net; and anthologized in 50/50: Poems and Translations by Women over 50 and Honoring Nature. Her poetry has appeared in CALYX, Crannóg, Osiris,The Naugatuck River Review, Q/A Poetry, Scientific American, Sweet, Terrain, and elsewhere. She has received a Massachusetts Cultural Council grant and a fellowship at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, along with residencies at Cill Rialiag, the C-Scape and Fowler dune shacks, and Wellspring House. She is the managing editor of Slate Roof Press.

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