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The Black Bear Inside Me
by Robin Becker
University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018
Paper: 978-0-8229-6524-4 | eISBN: 978-0-8229-8327-9
Library of Congress Classification PS3552.E257A6 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 811

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Becker celebrates the interconnectedness of creatures and places—never losing sight that much will turn out precarious, illusory, provisional. These poems speak, in ardent voices, about our affinities: an articulate, black bear mourns habitat loss; a frail man and failing dog become one; a scientist and her African grey parrot research language acquisition for thirty years. Ecologies interlace, as when a troubled family “sacrifices one member,/ as plants surrender leaves in times of drought.” Becker responds with rage and wit to corporate excess and intractable geo-politics. Love and friendship empower in wry narratives, though time “mows” down our days, though we may never escape “original cruelties.” Tragedies permeating our enmeshed, global identities haunt the book: the massacre of gay youth in Orlando; the terrors facing Cambodian teenagers working fishing boats. Wise, capacious, by turns unsettling and joyous, The Black Bear Inside Me incorporates histories and losses into a luminous present.

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