What We Were Born For

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“THIS IS THE BOOK I HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR. For years. Emilie Lygren writes essential, elegant poems that help us live our lives and apprehend with deepest gratitude all the gifts surrounding us.”

– Naomi Shihab Nye

“This voice is a wild spirit disguised as human, schooling in us advantages of feral thought, wilderness virtues, the intuitive aptitude that lives within us. Read these poems and feel it awaken in you, in a realm where bees “speak the names of next year’s seeds,” and “the place you shine is inside.” Again and again, you will be taken to the peak, to see why you are here.”

-Kim Stafford, author of Singer Come from Afar (Red Hen Press, 2021)

“In What You Were Born For, Emilie Lygren’s poems ask us to look closely then shift our perception wider — from termites flying out of a tree stump to one’s own birth, from tools to our inevitable mortality, from sea glass to islands engulfed by sea level rise. As the poems bring us into communion with each other and with the natural world, they also interrogate the constructed world of patriarchal power, perfectionism, and profit. With wonder and play, the poems call us into the wildness of our bodies and call our bodies into the earth to be reborn as seeds. As we reckon with racial violence and global pandemic, these poems offer us a window into our own renewal.”

-Tehmina Khan, poet and teacher, City College of San Francisco

I have been here long enough for here to change me. Emilie Lygren’s poems –alert, open, fierce – carry the forthright urgency of vow. Relatedness, the acute contours of the mind, the wet wing of a termite: everywhere she turns, she never turns away, she finds instruction. These are poems from an exquisitely tuned sensibility who learned early that in the simplest gesture, everything is at stake.”

– Genine Lentine, author of Poses: An Essay Drawn from the Model



Blue Light Press

ISBN: 9781421836904

Distributor: Ingram


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