The Necessity of Wildfire

The Necessity of Wildfire

By Caitlin Scarano



Winner of the 2023 Pacific Northwest Book Award for poetry Winner of the Wren Poetry Prize selected by Ada Limón, Caitlin Scarano's collection wrestles with family violence, escaping home, unraveling relationships, and the complexity of sexuality. The Necessity of Wildfire begins, "To not harm / each other is not enough. I want to love you / so much that you have no before." These poems chase a singular, thorny question: how does where and who we came from shape who and how we love? Judge Ada Limón says the resulting collection is "hungry, clear-eyed, tough, and generous." Scarano's imagination is galvanized by the South where she grew up and by the Pacific Northwest where she now resides-floods and wildfires, the Salish Sea and the North Cascades, and the humans and animals whose lives intersect and collide there. In this collection, Scarano reckons with a legacy of violence on both sides of their family, the death of their estranged father, the unraveling of long-term relationships, the complexity of their sexuality, and the decision not to have children. With fierce lyricality, these poems-"stories without monsters, / stories without morals"-resist both redemption and blame, yet call in mercy.

ISBN: 9781949467789


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