We and She, You and Then, You Again by Leah Tieger


Leah Tieger examines the human condition with a stark elegance and passion of language that allows us to inhabit the ragged husks of bodies—of seeds—and gives us hope even in our emptiness. Like a gentle farmer, she removes our desiccated husks and listens as we long for more than blankets, for shelter from the sun. She writes the necessary poems of minutia, of lovers forcing approximate passions, of unraveling sweaters hanging in silent closets. She watches the waiting parts in us and reveals them, allowing the small spaces of our lives to shine through, into insightful—and honest—existence.

—Josh Gaines


In We and She, You and Then, You Again, Leah Tieger traces a tangled root-like network of intimacies and distances in which the relationship between self and other continually transforms. The triangulation of passion here results in a stunning and often surreal reimagining of the lover figure. Faces become maps, doors, latches, unbuilt fences, and perennial blooms—contingent thresholds for exile or entry. In this shifting corporeal landscape, decay and regrowth work in tandem to cultivate a rich and complicated understanding of desire.

—Rochelle Hurt


Leah Tieger’s poetry is a deeply interior one, which is another way of saying that the poems collected in We and She, You and Then, You Again risk much for the sake of unmasking. While her imagery—stamens and pistils; eggshells that “break like lace”; even “the insides / of another person’s shoulder”—most often connotes vulnerability and its capacity to simultaneously tempt and thwart understanding, Tieger is clearly enchanted by forces that ache for confluence as much as they duel over ambiguity. Reading these poems is an act of profound opening; prepare to be unfastened, unraveled and, most generously of all, unburdened.

—Joe Milazzo



We and She, You and Then, You Again

by Leah Tieger

$14.99, paper

Leah Tieger lives in Dallas with her dog and her neighbor’s errant chickens, and she resides in a small house with more windows than walls. She is a graduate of Bennington College—where she received an Academy of American Poets Prize—and she is working toward her master’s degree at the University of North Texas. Tieger completed a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in 2016, and she wants to remain there like a stowaway on a transatlantic ship. Instead she helms a different boat, serving as cofounder and producer of the Looped poetry series, which has been hosted at the Nasher Sculpture Center and is sponsored by WordSpace, Dallas’s largest literary nonprofit.

Tieger reads fiction for The Boiler and poetry for The American Literary Review, works as a freelance writer specializing in literature reference, and occasionally even writes her own poetry. Her poem “Galley Kitchen, Shotgun House” (which also appears in this chapbook) was a finalist for the 2016 Raynes Poetry Prize—judged by Alicia Ostriker. Her work appears in Rattle, Gravel, Entropy, Voicemail Poems, Pretty Owl Poetry, Thank You for Swallowing, Menacing Hedge, and others. Like every good writer, the first draft of her first novel waits, quiet but restless, pushed to the back of a proverbial drawer.


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