Book Review: _The Tornado Is the World_ Makes Poetry Out of Natural Disasters

In the fall of 2016, I reviewed Catherine Pierce’s new book of poems, The Tornado is the World. I was fortunate to have the review picked up by The Chicago Review of Books and published on their site on December 9th, 2016. Below is a excerpt and a link to read the full review.


the-tornado-is-the-worldCatherine Pierce’s poignant and brave-spirited third book of poems, The Tornado Is the World, takes the reader into the midst of a natural disaster. In the poem “True Story,” the primary speaker reveals that “once, in a Days Inn bathroom in Cullman, Alabama, / I covered my four-month-old son as my husband / covered me as the tornado went by.” As the book progresses, we, as readers, find ourselves survivors in the tornado’s aftermath, grateful to be alive but unsure of how to proceed or mourn those who weren’t as lucky. We find ourselves three months into the future, looking back and knowing that nothing will ever be the same. It’s from the perspective of a survivor that this book takes form, and to be sure, only a survivor could write this kind of exposé on a tornado, though the speaker warns that “no told story is ever true enough.” Read the rest of the review here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: