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

A salute to Neil Young’s enduring prophecy, “mother nature on the run,” but it’s scarier now—it’s not the 1970s. Claire Caldwell is an environmental doomsayer, but she’s also a comedic, antic storyteller, and she’s great at dark endings. Wilderness women are her storytellers; they speak with the melancholy of country music. ‘One day, I vanished,’ says one. Another says,’To wear the moon like a breast.’ From actresses fording a river: ‘Applause had softened us.’ Nothing soft about these poems.
— John Irving
Claire Caldwell’s second collection starts with a mammoth shinbone, stored in her parents’ garage. And it gets weirder and more ordinary from there, from the erasure poem Caldwell created from the diaries of homesteading women, full of longing and disconnection, to the epic anti-nature poem “How to See Moose.” Caldwell reminds us, magically, savagely, that we have celestial bodies but, also, that we are all meat. My only response? ‘Oh, yes, this.’
— Ariel Gordon
 
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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

 
[A] book of bestial awareness and enlivening surprise.
— John Stintzi, The Malahat Review
Caldwell’s poems are skillful in their ability to investigate large topics like climate change in a relatable and interesting way. The poems are often full of dissonance and strange juxtapositions that reflect our relationships with the planet and each other.
— Ariel Kusby, Hunger Mountain