Mira Rosenthal is the author of The Local World, winner of the Wick Poetry Prize. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, and residencies at Hedgebrook and MacDowell, she is an associate professor of poetry at Cal Poly. She also translates contemporary Polish poetry.
Territorial explores the bargains that women make to stay safe from violence. Set in a landscape of looming ecological ruin, the poems bear witness to the effects of drought on the California chaparral region and delve into difficult personal terrain to reveal patterns of abuse we inflict on the earth and each other. How can we emerge from a devastated landscape into a sense of healing and repair? Using the characteristics of violence—repetition and escalation—the collection connects subjects that range from the dawn of recorded sound to the mapping of myths onto constellations, the ecosystem of a leach pond, and the photographs of Alfred Stieglitz. In tracing the ways narratives of predation imprint onto the body, memory, environment, and future generations, Territorial finds resilience in the powers of language to reshape experience.