“In her debut collection, Dingman deftly parallels intimate sorrow with the brutal realities of rural poverty and violence… Dingman sets her scenes well, with the tough rhythms of life coming through, and her excellent work will be appreciated by a range of readers.”
—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
“Snow blankets everything in Chelsea Dingman’s debut, a tenderhearted collection about family and grief, pregnancy and loss… In these poignant, finely crafted poems, the past is hard to forget.”
"Anyone seeking the gossipy shadows traumas can cast will be disappointed in Thaw; these poems, like the sky, are choosy about what they’ll let fall from their mysterious hands."
—Amie Whittemore, Southern Indiana Review
Thaw delves into the issues at the core of a resilient family: kinship, poverty, violence, death, abuse, and grief. The poems follow the speaker, as both mother and daughter, as she travels through harsh and beautiful landscapes in Canada, Sweden, and the United States. Moving through these places, she examines how her surroundings affect her inner landscape; the natural world becomes both a place of refuge and a threat. As these themes unfold, the histories and cold truths of her family and country intertwine and impinge on her, even as she tries to outrun them.
Unflinching and raw, Chelsea Dingman’s poems meander between childhood and adulthood, the experiences of being a mother and a child paralleling one another. Her investigation becomes one of body, self, woman, mother, daughter, sister, and citizen, and of what those roles mean in the contexts of family and country.“Immortality” from Thaw
Wind hollows the wheat
chaff, howl of a stray
hungering morning. This terrible north
collects pieces you don’t
recognize. Your mother, grey
two-story house, singing
through a distant night, lay down
your sweet head. Outside
the chapel, under a streetlamp,
you draw a picture of God
in the snow, where He isn’t
merely a man, lost
in this human hour, body
weeping in the thaw.
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