Published by University of New Mexico Press
In Grief Land Carrie Shipers explores the paradoxical nature of bereavement as both a universal human experience and an intensely personal one. The poems interrogate and dismiss common notions of loss and recovery through a series of letter-poems—to authors who have written about grief, to the speaker’s dead husband, and to a society that believes it has the right to dictate how a widow should feel and act. The collection explores living with grief without being consumed by it and how to emerge into a new life.
Section OneGrief LandLetter from the Smallest StateNarrative MedicineDeath Is Not an EmergencyPreparing to Leave the Hospital: A Beginner’s GuideDear Joan Didion,Letter I Don’t Know Where to SendTeaching HospitalParallel GriefGrudges: A Partial ListLetter I May Never FinishDear Mark Doty,Section TwoOn days I don’t think I’ll die of grief,The angry widowsHoliday LetterDear Grief,Malpractice LetterUser AgreementAlternate EndingsDear Joyce Carol Oates,Discharge LetterDear Gail Godwin,Interment LetterWhat are days for?Section ThreeDear Sandra M. Gilbert,My dead husbandGrief LogicDear Sheryl Sandberg,My imaginary therapistLetter Started on My Steering WheelBack-to-School LetterThe Offices of GriefBirthday LetterDear Atul Gawande,Neighborhood NewsLetter Started Just Before You’d Been Dead One Full Year, Then Finished LaterAcknowledgmentsBibliography