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by Hannah Fries
Little Terrarium, the title of this debut volume by former Orion poetry editor, Hannah Fries, refers to the body that holds the soul and the world that holds all creatures, from the complexity of human consciousness to the five pulsing hearts of night crawlers. Depicting a world on the brink, our spiritual history, and very human love, Fries’ poems evoke sincere wonder through lyricism, freshness and the ability to surprise. Where else might we find a woman provocatively stripping from a lobster suit; the voice of Mary, refusing her pedestal in her most human voice; a houseplant speaking for itself from a dark closet; Noah’s wife salvaging burrs from the ark’s bears; or the mustard seed, hushed and waiting in its cold vault for Doomsday. Whether writing about a midnight baker, or a species of spiders harnessed to spin steely gold thread, Fries holds the whole world, her little terrarium, in her hands.
Hannah Fries graduated from Dartmouth College and received an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College. From 2005 to 2014 she worked at Orion magazine in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Her poetry and prose have appeared in such places as American Poetry Review, Massachusetts Review, Drunken Boat, Water-Stone Review, and Southern Humanities Review. She is the recipient of a Bread Loaf scholarship and a Colorado Art Ranch residency. She currently works as a project editor at Storey Publishing in North Adams, Massachusetts, and is a contributing editor for Terrain.org.