From the Klondike to an all-girls summer camp to the frontier of outer space, Gold Rush explores what it means to be a settler woman in the wilderness. Drawing on and subverting portrayals of nature from Susanna Moodie to Cheryl Strayed, Caldwell's poems examine the tension between the violence and empowerment women have often sought and found in wild places. Whether they're trekking the Chilkoot Trail or exploring the frontiers of their own bodies and desires, the girls and women in these poems are pioneers-in all the complexities contained by the term.
Forthcoming Spring 2020 from Invisible Publishing
In these poems the calamities of climate change and the dangers of the natural world are juxtaposed against the intimacies of daily life. You will hear the voice of a woman, mauled to death by a bear, asking only to be remembered for her courage. Wildcats invade condominium balconies. A girl learns how natural it feels to hold a shotgun. And in "Osteogenesis," the prize-winning final sequence, you will hear the beautifully entwined stories of a student named M, a medical school cadaver, a pair of young lovers and the body of a blue whale decomposing at the bottom of the sea. Caldwell renders all of these improbable connections in startlingly original verse, alive with compassion and wit.
Wolsak and Wynn, 2014