Foxlogic, Fireweed


Foxlogic, Fireweed

Jennifer K. Sweeney

The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Series

114 pages


September 2020


$15.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2020


$15.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

September 2020


$15.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Winner of the Backwaters Prize in Poetry, Jennifer K. Sweeney’s Foxlogic, Fireweed follows a lyrical sequence of five physical and emotional terrains—floodplain, coast, desert, suburbia, and mesa—braiding themes of nature, domesticity, isolation, and human relationships. These are poems of the earth’s wild heart, its searing mysteries, its hollows, and its species, poems of the complex domestic space, of before and after motherhood, gun terror, the election, of dislocation and home, and of how we circle toward and away from our centers. Sweeney is not afraid to take up the domestic and inner lives of women, a nuanced relationship with the natural world that feels female or even maternal, or a duty to keeping alive poetry’s big questions of transcendence, revelation, awe, and deep presence in the ordinary.

Author Bio

Jennifer K. Sweeney is the author of three other poetry collections, including Little SpellsHow to Live on Bread and Music, and Salt Memory. The recipient of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Pushcart Prize, she teaches at the University of Redlands in California.


"In her award-winning collection Foxlogic, Fireweed, Jennifer Sweeney draws a portrait of a life firmly rooted in its physical and spiritual realms even while it revels in the liminal spaces that can’t always be explained with logic or reason."—Donna Vorreyer, Rhino Poetry

“The logic of Foxlogic, Fireweed is human and humane; it’s the logic of a penetrative tenderness and an embodiment always on the verge of dispersing into fox, or deer, or rain. . . . These are not bandwagon poems. They don’t mug for the camera. Rather, they enact a love ‘sourced in loneliness’ where ‘with our little keys of witness’ we find each other—the very definition of the lyric poem.”—Diane Seuss

“In Jennifer K. Sweeney’s beautiful new collection, poems serve as altars for the fierce hearts and fairytales that center our lives. . . . These poems recognize how sacred attention can be. In Foxlogic, Fireweed nothing escapes hiding and nothing escapes love.”—Traci Brimhall

Foxlogic, Fireweed is a torn map of a state where all words are proximate to mystery. Venturing into terra incognita, into territory that might be anima mundi, maybe, reader, you think you know the lineaments, but they are altered. Altared. Yes, to dream space, but wilder, wider—this metal into bird, stone into air, mother into vulpine. Sweeney is breathing strangeness into a small body of words, and the expanses open exponentially.”—Marsha de la O

“The poems in Jennifer K. Sweeney’s Foxlogic, Fireweed do the hard work of ‘remaining in the perhaps.’ Sweeney walks the many fine lines between introspection and observation, speaking plainly and singing. She finds moments of awe in the everyday, urging us to ‘keep afraid what is fearful, hold what demands to be held.’”—Grace Bauer, author of Mean/Time

Table of Contents


1 (whole flocks of rain)
Letter from the Sound    
I will break into my life for my life    
Bat Milk    
Poem for My Son in the Car    
Outside My Window Is a Window    
Crickets, Vespers    
Old Town Square    
The Pear Trees at Terezín    
Altar: Compass    

2 (I am driving a whale heart)
I am driving a whale heart    
Wind under the Skin    
Picking Up My Wedding Dress    
Variation on Bear and Moon    
Jennifers of the 1970s    
In the House of Seals    
To Remain in Perhaps    
Every morning we boarded our little ship    
The Somnambulist    

3 (brighten the road, dear)
When we were carnies    
Still Life with Djembe and Black Widow    
The Day Everywhere and White    
Snake in the Zendo    
Tree; Tremble    
The Game of Life    
The Snow Leopard Mother    

4 (part fur part hollow)
Foxlogic, Fireweed    
Making Use    
Altar: Fairytale    
A Deer Story    
Still Life with Skeleton and Sight Word    
How Many Leaves and Boats Gather Together    
Cabinet of Curiosities    
What Turkeys Can Teach Us about Grief in Suburbia    

5 (in a circular wind)
bike shed will often show more results than “bike shed”    
For the brown widow who laid her eggs under my son’s bicycle seat    
Altar: Aerial Heart    
Our Laundry Room of Deflated Balloons    
Three-Handed Clock    
Nacelle and Turn    



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