Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Publisher Marketing: Winner of the Wren Poetry Prize selected by final judge Ada Limón, Caitlin Scarano’s second full-length collection is The Necessity of Wildfire. It begins, “To not harm / each other is not enough. I want to love you / so much that you have no before.” These poems chase a singular, thorny question: how does where and who we came from shape who and how we love? Judge Ada Limón says the resulting collection is “hungry, clear-eyed, tough, and generous.”
Though originally from the South, Scarano’s imagination is galvanized by the Pacific Northwest—floods and wildfires, the Salish Sea and the North Cascades, and the humans and animals whose lives intersect and collide there. In this collection, Scarano reckons with a legacy of violence on both sides of her family, the death of her estranged father, the unraveling of two long-term relationships, the complexity of sexuality, and her decision not to have children. With fierce lyricality, these poems—“stories without monsters, / stories without morals”—resist both redemption and blame, yet call in mercy.