For Another Writing Back

For Another Writing Back by Elaine Bleakney
6 in x 8 in
67 pages

Avant memoir by Elaine Bleakney

“The spider’s web stretched along yet indirect to the path. In all the images I returned to it. Sunlight fixed and a dune rising to our faces scratched with pine. I called it the moon. The spider’s body left in. It’s almost too random to bear, how I meet you, how you travel here.”

For Another Writing Back extends to strangers and creatures the same quizzical care we extend to those we love; it gives us a way of seeing that is very close to listening. Part reverie, part reflection, these lyric sequences examine childhood, 9/11, the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, giving birth, the dailyness of marriage, family gatherings, friends living with cancer, a lizard come into the house to die—all with a distinctive, intimate quiet. Attentive to what separates us and to what unexpectedly draw us close, Bleakney’s vision expresses, in the most stunning terms, not only the depth of our inwardness, but how we might seek shelter in one another.” —Joanna Klink

Cover art by Deedee Cheriel

“Bleakney’s meditative and searching poems artfully assemble not a linear narrative, but an evocative consideration of a life.” Publishers Weekly

“Offering us gorgeously fractured sentences within seemingly pristine paragraphs, Bleakney calls our attention to the ways we have been conditioned to expect literary texts to fit neatly within existing grammatical and narrative structures.” —Kristina Marie Darling, Tupelo Quarterly

Excerpts from For Another Writing Back at The Volta and The Believer blog.

Elaine discusses For Another Writing Back with Dan Brady at The Conversant, on Take Down the Clouds, and as part of The Next Big Thing meme

Previous prase for Elaine Bleakney’s 20 Paintings by Laura Owens

“Bleakney’s ekphrasis is by turns microscope, telescope, kaleidoscope, zoetrope.” —Jesse Ball

“In her brilliant 20 Paintings by Laura Owens, Elaine Bleakney invents a new form which marries abstraction and dailiness where poetry and art can converse. Distantly to Jack Spicer’s disjunct footnote, here Frank O’Hara and Frank Ocean are Orphic cousins in a completely new time and place where thrive ‘so many colors without linebreaks.’” —Lee Ann Brown

“The speaker in 20 Paintings, arguably a work in the ekphrastic tradition, doesn’t set out to merely describe paintings, but more certainly records the moment of response. ... This is, simply put, beautiful writing.” —Jenny Drai


Elaine Bleakney is author of the chapbook 20 Paintings by Laura Owens (Poor Claudia, 2013). Her poetry and prose have appeared in At LengthAmerican Poetry ReviewVerse DailyThe Volta, and other publications. She is an art editor for At Length, and the editor of the anthology Poem In Your Pocket. A native of Arizona, she was raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina.

Sample Pages