What We Lost in the Swamp

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How do you untangle the real you from the curated you? In this introspective yet whimsical collection, poet Grant Chemidlin takes readers into the thicket of self-discovery.

What We Lost in the Swamp is a lush and vibrant collection of poems that examines the many manifestations of green: nature, inexperience, jealousy, burgeoning love, and exploring sexuality. It is a slow unfurling. It is a love letter to growth, to rediscovery, to finally learning how to speak the truth. These astonishing poems ask the reader: Who do you want to be in this world? How do you want to build a life?

This is not a coming out. This is a coming in to one’s truest self.

Description

Grant Chemidlin is a queer poet and the author. He was a finalist for the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award and the Philip Levine Prize for Poetry and has had work published in Quarterly West, Iron Horse Literary Review, Tupelo Quarterly, and River Heron Review, among others. His newest collection, What We Lost in the Swamp, unpacks his closeted youth, his coming out, and his ongoing journey to becoming unabashedly himself. Grant lives in Los Angeles with his husband and his aloof cat, Teddy.

**Finalist for Lambda Literary Award – Gay Poetry

What We Lost in the Swamp is a beautiful tribute to what it means to love and what it means when the world tells you how to love (and how lonely that can be.) Chemidlin cleverly akins nature to the human condition and finds healing through this relationship. My inner child felt like she was receiving a warm hug the whole time reading this. I’ll be reading again, but next time barefoot in the grass on a windy day.” — Makenzie Campbell, author of 2am Thoughts

What We Lost in the Swamp is a sincere and glaring look at one’s self—moving from a gentle hand to a firm one when it’s desperately needed. Grant’s ability to write with both ripe, startling imagery and tenderness takes you to places you’ve only visited in your dreams. Between the quiet moments of intimacy and the thrashing about of honest and tangible emotions, there is so much to grasp onto in this book—leaving you with so much to wonder, yet one thing to be certain of: that at its very core, life is good & kind & beautiful.” — William Bortz, author of The Grief We’re Given