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Many Ways to Say It Paperback – September 21, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Red Hen Press; 1 edition (September 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597092428
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597092425
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,335,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Eva Saulitis is a poet who inhabits the planet with all her senses attuned. Many Ways to Say It is a collection rich with acute observation of the non-human denizens of the world, botanical, animal, mineral, and rich in characters, too, from Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, to Shakespeare’s Cordelia. These poems metamorphose through the book in form and voice, holding image and thought up to an endless light, examining and singing all the refractions and possibilities. Many Ways to Say It is a stunning debut collection of poems we readers can trust and inhabit and relish.”
—Derick Burleson, author of Ejo and Never Night

“Since reading Eva Saulitis’ book of essays, Leaving Resurrection, I have been eager to see more of her work. Now, this collection of poems offers a whole and wholly different engagement with the world. The ‘Injured and blistered amen’ of Many Ways to Say It blends a naturalist’s observations, interior investigation, and deep wonder in poems that revel in and interrogate the world they spring from.  Language and sound echo in new ways (‘the kettle’s hiss, the GPS’), and there’s a formal range that amplifies the pleasure of the poems’ subjects. The Cordelia poems, which engage with muskeg, domesticity, and the life of Linnaeus, are the core of this book. Here, Saulitis shows how her verse grows from the physical world (red squirrel, skunk cabbage, mending) and into the historic, emotional, and literary. It’s a reach and scope that thrills. What strikes me is the deliberate unfinishment of many of the poems—Saulitis uses form and syntax to illustrate that her work is part of a larger, ongoing story. Reading the poems of this book is like dipping into a river, looking around under water, and then rising to breathe again, refreshed and quickened. 
—Elizabeth Bradfield, author of Interpretive Work and Approaching Ice

“Naturalist and writer Eva Saulitis’ stunning new book melts (marries) the gorgeous and dangerous natural world with the moist, hidden geography of the female body. These poems are miraculous songs of grief and pressure. They refuse to let the reader (listener) turn away. We can’t refuseto hear the poet’s ‘many ways of saying’ that life comes and comes and comes, no matter what the cost. A wonderful book."  
—Hilda Raz, author of What Happens and All Odd and Splendid

“Eva Saulitis is part of nature—seawater and glacial ice, alder marsh and birch forest. She’s part scientist, part oboist, part lover, part Latvian, part Alaskan. Her smart and passionate poems bring us wildly alive. These new poems enact an eternal thirst for mindful, spiritual, fully-embodied ways of thinking and feeling. Open and curious, Eva Saulitis embraces with an ‘injured and blistered amen’ the longings, the terrors, and the glories of our brief time on this ever-changing earth.”
—Peggy Shumaker, author of Gnawed Bones, Alaska State Writer Laureate

About the Author

Eva Saulitis, an essayist, poet, and marine biologist, has studied the killer whales of Prince William Sound, Alaska for 25 years. Her first book, Leaving Resurrection: Chronicles of a Whale Scientist (Boreal Books/Red Hen Press, 2008), was a finalist for the Tupelo Press Non-Fiction Prize and the ForeWord Book Award. Her second non-fiction book, Into Great Silence, is forthcoming from Beacon Press. A recipient of writing fellowships from the Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska State Council on the Arts, she is an associate professor in the University of Alaska Low-Residency MFA program.

More About the Author

Eva Saulitis is the author of "Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss among Vanishing Orcas," (Beacon Press, 2012). She has studied whales in Prince William Sound, the Kenai Fjords, and Alaska's Aleutian Islands for the past twenty-four years. In addition to her scientific publications, her essays, poems, and reviews have appeared in numerous national journals, including Orion, Crazyhorse, and Prairie Schooner. The author of the essay collection Leaving Resurrection and the poetry collection Many Ways to Say It, she teaches at Kenai Peninsula College, in the low-residency MFA program at the University of Alaska, and at the Kachemak Bay Writers' Conference. She lives in Homer, Alaska.

Photo Credit: Jon Liebling, 2012.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paolo & Francesca on February 13, 2014
Format: Paperback
Eva Saulitis' Many Ways to Say it is a love epic to nature. But unlike the Romantics, the nature of Saulitis' poems is not a pastoral paradise but the rugged, unforgiving landscape of Alaska, a world "that begins in ice," a world "where we don't belong, and never did." A scientist who studied the ecology of Alaska for two decades, Saulitis is deeply aware of the limitations of science and its desire to name, categorize, analyze, and possess nature. "Many Ways to Say It" is anti-intellectual in that it approaches nature with anything except the intellect. It is about a sensual immersion in nature, erotic longing for it, and mystical union with it. At the same time it is also conscious of nature's indifference to human beings and that in some ways we can never understand it or fully inhabit it.

The sensual, erotic, and mystical come together in the love poems where nature is portrayed as a lover. The speaker loses herself in the mystery of nature and take in all that it has to offer, sensually, emotionally, and spiritually. She says, "When I lay flat on you like a specimen in a press...there's nothing I need" and "When I go, may I be pregnant from our animal love on the streambed and on the bluff." In "Instructions to the Husband," the speaker addresses the earth as one wanting to learn how to please a lover:

Tell me how to marry
this chunk of earth, Instruct me
in the plant lore, the insect life, the medicines.
Carry me across the threshold
of lyme grass. Inspect my coat & pant legs
for evidence of transgression in
the overflow.
Teach me how to live here.
Yes, my eyes are open.

In a world where nature is utilized, dominated, and polluted, the speaker's vulnerability and submission comes as a statement, even indictment.
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