Country Songs for Alice

by Emma Binder



“In COUNTRY SONGS FOR ALICE, the author has woven a collection that marries music and love poems. These pieces are ferocious with love, ablaze with it, invoking a world of deserts and horses, rodeos and sunsets, lizards and open roads. With no one around / you can be anything: animal, mineral, / cloud pattern, blade. The same can be said of these poems: whittled with love, transforming from song to stanza to memory across the page. If you want to come to my house, Ill let you in, the chapbook begins. I’m glad to have been invited.”

from the Judge’s Citation by Hala Alyan

Format: Paperback chapbook
Published: March 2024

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ISBN: 978-1-961209-02-2 Categories: , , Tag:

Country Songs for Alice is a story of queer love and heartbreak, infused with the imagery and aesthetics of country music. In this collection, a non-binary, queer narrator passes through the crucible of love, romance, and heartbreak against the backdrop of rural America – a landscape which offers luminous belonging, even as the hazards of homophobia, loneliness, and isolation loom large. Part road-trip, part mixtape, these poems are explorations of love, music, romance, pageantry, loneliness, and belonging in the rural places and small towns that seem to preclude queer culture. Country Songs for Alice not only tells the story of a relationship and its dissolution, but reclaims country western imagery and aesthetics for a queer audience, dousing the narrator’s experience in the language of cowboys, horses, rodeos, trucks, and desert skies. At its core, this collection is an examination of obsession, gender, love, and loss in contemporary rural America.

Emma Binder is a writer from Wisconsin. They received their MFA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and were the 2020-2021 Hoffman-Halls Emerging Artist Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. They received the 2023 Indiana Review Fiction Prize, the 2022 Gulf Coast Prize in Fiction, and the 2022 Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award. Their work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Kenyon Review, Gulf Coast, The Indiana Review, Pleiades, Narrative, The Texas Review, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere.

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Weight 0.25 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 9 in