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Chouteau's Chalk


Title Details

Pages: 80

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in



Pub Date: 02/15/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5456-9

List Price: $20.95


Pub Date: 02/15/2019

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5457-6

List Price: $20.95

Subsidies and Partnerships

Published with the generous support of Bruce and Georgia McEver Fund for the Arts and Environment

Chouteau's Chalk


Poetry that reveals the truths present in corporeal (dis)placement

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Awards

In Chouteau’s Chalk, Rosa Lane’s poems take a deep dive into the emotional and the erotic. Gender bent, her poems reside amid a tomboy’s emerging sexual identity within a world confined by heterosexual construction and its persistent mores. Her collection piques a countermythos that unfolds within a small fishing village opening a forbidden and hidden world with sensorial intensity and lyrical momentum.

An epigraph from Audre Lorde’s notable work The Uses of the Erotic: The Erotic as Power hovers over every poem from birth through marriage, traversing calamities and holograms of desire, giving the “I” permission to assume full agency with power and dignity in a manner that is as acute as revelatory.

The lush sounds of the poems in Rosa Lane’s Chouteau’s Chalk make even the silent reader’s ears perk up. Her words wind us feverishly through landscapes of initiation, those early erotic encounters so impressed upon our being that we can only look back and say ‘hello, me.’ The spaces here are sometimes wounding, 'outlined in neon, a noble gas, atomic, orange,' or 'a blur, a fallen entity / inside the house,' but like all freedom songs, they map the road taken. Here that road is queerly, wildly, sweetly taken, 'zipping us all the way down the beck.'

—Magdalena Zurawski

In Chouteau's Chalk, Rosa Lane becomes a lionhearted singer of the erotic: as life force, as madness, as mentor, as inventor. Here the body speaks its truth, even as it is fragmented and mocked by commerce, billboard glitter, the cynical commodification of the body. Lane's technical mastery serves the fierce music of these poems, which, like desire itself, did bring me to my knees.

—Dawn McGuire, author of American Dream with Exit Wound

It's heartening to see a bold collection of poems like Rosa Lane's, remarkable for the inventive language and for a direct and natural representation of the lives of women passionately in love with women.

—Alfred Corn, author of Unions

Rosa Lane’s Chouteau’s Chalk is poetry to learn poetry from, perfectly catching the web of nature that is outside and inside us at the same time, continually reflecting and notifying our lives. Then she has placed this in the context of living myth and literature, animated by desire, love, and grief. A sumptuous feast.

—Judy Grahn, author of Hanging on Our Own Bones


National Indie Excellence Award

About the Author/Editor

ROSA LANE is the author of Tiller North and Roots and Reckonings. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Cutthroat, Folio, New South, Nimrod, Ploughshares, RHINO Poetry, the Tishman Review, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. As a poet and architect, she splits her time between coastal Maine and the San Francisco Bay Area, where she lives with her wife.