I’m a poet and teacher. I have a dog named Rae, who is afraid of most things but very brave when it comes to facing down the winter.
My second book of poems, A Bear Approaches from the Sky, is forthcoming from The Word Works.
Emily Wilson says, “With acute, earth-bound diction and windstained tones, Abby Chew’s poems evoke a sensory world that is not quite human, one that feels remnant of our more richly animal past, when we were ‘never without the hunting teeth.’ Her composite, self possessed voices—half man, half coyote; half crow, half bear—lope and swoop their waste spaces, smelling the air, catching the scents of prey and danger. Their collective act is to subtly and miraculously mark, and transform, the distance between us and our broader relations, seeking and recovering ‘what it is that holds us all, the stranglehold / of home, of loneliness, of love.'”
My first book of poems, Discontinued Township Roads, is available from WordTech. The poems follow Sister, Brother, and Daddy through their world–a farm in the Midwest.
Colin Cheney, winner of the National Poetry Series, says, “Abby Chew’s Discontinued Township Roads captures a country at once wonderfully strange and disconcertingly familiar. Across these taut, lyrical poems, Sister reckons her way through a life intimate with land and work, the mysteries of family and desire. Chew’s quick, measured lines breathe into the aching, resonant distances that exist between us: lovers, sister and brother, daughter and father. These poems are defined as much by what they leave unsaid as what they reveal: we glimpse a family’s life in flared fragments, as a field revealed in lightning. The reader is left to create the constellation that binds these finely crafted pieces to each other. Chew reminds us how hungry we are for each other’s stories, for the experience of the world we can never fully share with another. The poems suggest that we have to teach ourselves to hear the answers the world sings in response to our wanting. A bird drowns another bird. A girl wants to be distilled like the sap of a maple to a darker, better self. A horse’s ears turn as you murmur, ‘You are beautiful.’ Like Sister calling down bats with her blues harp, Abby Chew’s clear-eyed, deeply felt, and deftly wrought collection brings us in from the dark to listen.”