breath so hungry
by Joann Renee Boswell
You know that one crush you just couldn’t shake? How that person lingers in your memories for years, or even decades? breath so hungry is a love story. The author was friend-zoned so deeply by her crush that he forgot about her over the summer, while she spent her lumber mill lunch breaks pining for him. These poems tell a tale spanning twenty years—from the forgettable day that they met, up to their shared life in the present. With exquisite detail and captivating narratives, breath so hungry highlights the universal experience of the many facets of a deep, abiding affection.
About the Author
Joann Renee Boswell is a poet, photographer, teacher, director, mystic, and mother who lives in Camas, WA with her husband (a Quaker minister) and her three young children. You can call her Jo, Jojo, Jomama, or Smookles Renee. Joann received her Choose Your Own Adventure degree (B.A. in Interdisicplinary Studies with an emphasis in Theater, Music, and Writing/Literature) from George Fox University, and later returned to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching. Joann’s first book, Cosmic Pockets (Fernwood Press, 2020), is a full-length collection of poetry and photography. She’s been working on her second full-length collection in collaboration with two illustrators; it is forthcoming from Fernwood Press late in 2022.
Joann loves rainy days filled with coffee, contradictions, dystopian fiction, justice, hand holding, forest bathing, hope, and sci-fi shows. She was her high school mascot and spent a summer working at a lumber mill. Her superpower might be whimsy. Joann is the current poetry editor for Untold Volumes and edits with a team for VoiceCatcher. She has been widely published in places such as CIRQUE, otoliths, VoiceCatcher, The Poeming Pigeon, Tiny Seed Literary Journal, Denial (Not a Pipe Publishing), and Our Church Too.
Early Praise for breath so hungry:
These poems about a lasting relationship freshly quiver and shudder and sigh at memories past. While the images in the poems ring familiar, the marriage they flesh out appears as singular and poetic as Boswell’s writing. The collection is a delight to read.
—Tricia Gates Brown, author of Wren
Oh, the tale this will be, says the poet and what a tale indeed—one of the fluttering connections of early love, the yearning of a long-distance dance, the slow weaving of two lives by two hearts and four hands. We did not anticipate eternity, Boswell claims but these pages will lead you up to right here/ the eternal now, immersing you in a love story that is funny, authentic, sexy, and satisfying. Far more than a happy ending, this love is ongoing, ever deepening, pleasantly unfinished.
—Bethany Lee, author of Etude for Belonging
Joann Renee Boswell’s breath so hungry captures such intense longing of young, new love, as well as that which sustains a mutual loving relationship. The ease and comfort that each person brings to this relationship is present in these poems. From rolled into this man asleep snug around my back in “fear flinging romance” to we did not anticipate eternity— in “october.” Boswell captures anxieties that come with life and then ease the reader too. The intricate visuals in this book will have you wishing for that kind of love and the longest day of summer and to spend moonrise swaddled in cotton too.
—Rebecca Smolen, author of Excoriation