Because the Sky is a Thousand Soft Hurts is a raw and intense collection of intricately layered short stories that touch on the recurring themes of sexual violence, domestic abuse, mental illness, and addiction.
The characters are often cruel and inhumane with parents speaking in riddles to their abused children. The narrators are all women, usually unnamed, who have a lost, dissociated quality to them, as the details of their lives seem to fray.
As the stories develop, some of these narrators find love and normalcy, though not always happily. Violence pulses steadily throughout the collection, but it is the author’s hope that the stories not only reveal the breadth and power of her poetics, but also give voice to the disturbed, the dispossessed and the lowly in an elegant, lyrical form.
Because the Sky is a Thousand Soft Hurts, reads like a compilation of poems that deals with the difficult subject of physical abuse, sexual abuse, mental health and addiction. I felt it read like poetry for me abuse I there are so many ways to write about a subject as difficult as abuse and mental health however, ELizabeth Kirschner chooses words that draw the reader in and invite them into the world of these women who experience abuse.
There’s something for everyone here: if you are healing from any kind of abuse you might see yourself in some of the characters, you will be able to relate to their struggle and sympathise with their pain.
If you are learning about abuse and the challenges victims face, you will also find information here that will help you better understand the world of someone who has experienced abuse.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Kirschner is the author of Because the Sky is a Thousand Soft Hurts. It was brought out by Atmosphere Press in June, 2021.
Kirschner has published five volumes of poetry, most recently, My Life as a Doll, Autumn House Press, 2008, and Surrender to Light, Cherry Grove Editions, 2009. The former was nominated for the Lenore Marshall Prize, the Patterson Book Prize and named Kirschner as the Literary Arts Fellow in the state of Maine, 2010.
Her memoir, Walking the Bones was published by The Piscataqua Press, February 2015. It was the winner of the North Street Book Prize for best work of nonfiction by an Independent author.
Kirschner has been writing and teaching multi-genres across four decades. She served as faculty in Fairfield University’s low-residence MFA in Creative Writing Program and has also taught at Boston College and Carnegie-Mellon University.
She has collaborated with many classical composers and this work is featured on numerous CD’s, including The Dichterliebe in Four Seasons, Schumann/Kirschner.
She currently serves as a writing mentor and manuscript consultant and teaches various workshops in and around her community in Kittery Point, ME.