Wild Thing in Our Known World by Claudia Putnam



The cover of this collection is clean and elegant, and so are these poems. I want to be careful, though–”elegant” can sometimes also mean “cold.” These are far from cold poems, even though many of them take place in cold landscapes (and even though the cover itself features snow). Putnam knows how to strip an image or a thought down to its essence without losing its emotional core–in fact delivering us to that core more swiftly and devastatingly. The selections here deal with lost marriages and lost children, natural and psychological dangers, memory, and the commitment to make do in whatever landscape one has been given. Highly recommended for reading and re-reading.

–Pamela Erens, author of THE VIRGINS

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]


The poems of Wild Thing in Our Known World are effective and affecting, but never sentimental. They both captivate and unsettle: you want to stop reading, take a break, take a breath, make the screen in your mind go white, but then you must start reading again. Putnam creates highly-polished poems using imagery of the Colorado mountains that ranges from the unexpected to the menacing—from a crow “pecking at the skylight, peering in with the weak sun” to “deer mov[ing] through the trees as if there were no lions.” With the sharp turn of a word or phrase she leads us from the everyday to worlds of insight.

–Paul Thomas Murphy, 2012 New York Times Notable author

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]


In Claudia Putnam’s Wild Thing in Our Known World, we are grounded in landscape, in earth, sea, and sky. Mother Nature is twofold here—what’s outside the window as well as the world where a woman raises a son. The poems in this chapbook move effortlessly between the relationship—both human and with nature—”the sun falls only through the skylight…a woman put on her glasses / to peer at your child.” Time slows as Putnam examines the world around us: the crows, a hummingbird mafia, a room astir with ladybugs, the moon’s dark face, and as the reader we contently exist in their beauty–“having no way to rob time of these moments.”

–Kelli Russell Agodon, award-winning author of Letters from the Emily Dickenson Room (White Pine Press)

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]




Wild Thing in Our Known World

by Claudia Putnam

$12, paper

Claudia Putnam lives in Western Colorado. She writes both poetry and fiction; her work appears in over two dozen literary journals. She was the 2011-2012 George Bennett Fellow at Phillips Exeter Academy, and she has also benefitted from a Ragdale Foundation fellowship. In the past, she has taught writing at the University of Colorado; more recently she has worked in marketing and PR, primarily for software companies. Right now she is focusing on her writing fulltime. When not staring at a computer screen, she does all the Colorado outdoor stuff. For more information, please visit www.claudiaputnam.com.

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars! [5 of 5 Stars!]


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