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Story Hunger

Story Hunger

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"The country up here is not creatures, wooded, tangled wild. It is absence wild."
Jack Gilbert

This is the realm of Jerah Chadwick's poetry - the wild absences of the Aleutian landscape, the deep absences of vanished people, and our own groping efforts to understand ourselves, our place, and our history. Story Hunger journeys into the profound silences before and after our stories are told - from white landscape to intimate fireside. Chadwick is a story-teller for the silent:

Look for her in the white
spaces between his words, a moon
known only by reflection, her story
a glimpse of all those disappeared.

('The Mad Woman of Amlia')

He is a singer of times of unexpected awareness when the land shows us metaphors which are told as stories to ourselves, and those we love:

...That sky
is inside me now.
It is all I have to say to you.


Story Hunger crosses seascapes and land, uniting Celtic and Aleut myths and themes, traveling a line woven so very long ago, the unraveling is all that is left to us. These are poems of sure craft and great love.

Jerah Chadwick is a long-time resident of the Aleutian Island of Unalaska, where he first came to raise goats and write, living in an abandoned WWII military compound eight miles walking from town. Since 1988 he has taught for and directed the University of Alaska extension program for the Aleutian/Pribilof island region. He holds degrees from Lake Forest College (Illinois) and the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is a recipient of an Alaska State Council on the Arts Writing Fellowship. Chadwick's poems have been published in numerous journals and anthologies in the U.S., Canada, and Ireland; and he is the author of three chapbooks, including The Dream Horse (Seal Press, Seattle) and From the Cradle of Storms (State Street, New York). In 1983, he served as guest editor for Contemporary Art and Writing of the Aleutian Islands (Penumbra, Ontario).