I Thought There Would Be More Wolves: Poems (Permafrost Prize Series) (Paperback)
After moving to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, poet Sara Ryan found herself immersed in the isolated spaces of the North: the cold places that never thawed, the bleak expanses of snow. These poems have teeth, bones, and blood—they clack and bruise and make loud sounds. They interrogate self-preservation, familial history, extinction, taxidermy, and animal and female bodies. In between these lines, in warm places where blood collects, animals stay hidden and hunted, a girl looks loneliness dead in the eye, and wolves come out of the woods to run across the frozen water of Lake Superior.
About the Author
Sara Ryan is the author of the chapbooks Never Leave the Foot of an Animal Unskinned and Excellent Evidence of Human Activity. She is a managing editor at Iron Horse Literary Review.
I Thought There Would Be More Wolves offers a bold voice, fierce and vulnerable. I admire that while it engages pain it does not stay in that space of hurt but pushes beyond to what’s next.
— Elizabeth Bradfield, author of Toward Antarctica
In this book the dead are searched, known, and fully articulated—the birds, the moose, the ghosts. Even if everything is “too final for its own good,” Ryan can make it live again in language.
— Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless to the Land of Nod
Sara Ryan’s exquisitely wrought I Thought There Would Be More Wolves carries the charm, irony and frightening ferocity of unexpurgated fairy tales, the original stories spoken in the dusk, drawing up both bone and fur, feather and blood. This is a collection that admits transmutation. The central question being can we bear what we become any more than what we are?
— Vievee Francis, author of Forest Primeval
Ryan explores the desire to become the wolf instead of the prey animal, the thing with teeth and claws—a survivor of the forest—and the poems here embrace that wild spirit, are full of striking imagery, rich language, and emotional urgency. Visceral and raw, tender and lyrical, this is a fierce and feral debut.
— Sara Eliza Johnson, author of Bone Map
In these shape-shifting poems, Sara Ryan moves back and forth between the speaker who is made of fragile flesh and the one who wants to tear that flesh from the bone. Here is a book that doesn’t flinch from the hard work of chewing on not only the bones but also the heart.
— Keetje Kupers, author of All Its Charms