SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area



Add to Cart

Traci Brimhall


E-book (Other formats: Paperback)
6 x 9

Crab Orchard Series in Poetry


Additional Materials

About the Book

Traveling to the most intimate extremes of the human heart

Fraught with madness, brutality, and ecstasy, Traci Brimhall’s Rookery delves into the darkest and most remote corners of the human experience. From the graveyards and battlefields of the Civil War to the ancient forests of Brazil, from desire to despair, landscapes both literal and emotional are traversed in this unforgettable collection of poems. Brimhall guides readers through ever-winding mazes of heartbreak and treachery, and the euphoric dreams of missionaries. The end of days, the intoxication of religion that at times borders on terror, and the post-evangelical experience intertwine with the haunting redemptions and metamorphoses found in violence. These tender yet ruthless poems, brimming with danger and longing, lure readers to “a place where everyone is transformed by suffering.”


Traci Brimhall, who received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, recently completed a Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her poems have appeared in New England Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, FIELD, Southern Review, Indiana Review, and other journals.



"With a stunning mastery of metaphor, linguistic precision, and a soulful determined vision, Brimhall's work reveals an artist tuned to the significance of everyday experience, from the panicking heartbeats of birds to the spiking pulse of mice." -Dorianne Laux, author of Facts about the Moon: Poems

"This emotionally articulate, intense debut gives us the myth of self in its various incarnations: elegiac, surreal, meditative, erotic, dreamlike. I love [Brimhall's] luscious verbal texturing and lyric slipperiness, an assertive voice, a sensuality, a glow. A beautiful book." -Ilya Kaminsky, author of Dancing in Odessa

"The poems in Traci Brimhall's Rookery make beautiful the brutal as she casts an uncompromising eye on the vagaries of faith, the disappointments of the human heart-and the uneasy interstices between animal consciousness and ours. . . . Part incantation, part lamentation, the language in these poems is sensual and urgent." -Claudia Emerson, author of Figure Studies: Poems