Soft Animal / O Anima is a poetry collection of excavation. Each poem in the book faces another version of itself— an erasure or excavation— so that when a page is turned, the second version of the poem might seem like it is lifting off from its original, or so that it might mirror and complicate the original poems in some way. The poems here interrogate queerness, desire, nature, and the canonicity of queer poetry. Nichols’ poetics follows the maxim that no form is final.
PRAISE FOR Soft Animal / O Anima
I love this little book of slippage and transformation, where “queer life is a cathedral” and yelp reviews give way to a longing for transcendence. In these surprising tandem poems there is no first and second, no before and after. Rather, Soft Animal/O Anima keeps us suspended, in the midst of the sensuality, love and confusion of relationship, as we really are. Mira Rosenthal, author of Territories
CALEB NICHOLS is a queer poet and musician from California. His poems and prose have been published widely in places like Poetry Wales, 14 Poems, Queerlings, Redivider, 45th Parallel, Talkhouse, and Truthout. His Kelp Books chapbook Teems/Recedes was called "a gorgeous abundance" by Chen Chen and his pamphlet of prose Don't Panic was published by Broken Sleep in 2022. Caleb is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at Bangor University in North Wales, where he currently lives and he records music for the iconic indie label Kill Rock Stars.
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