Practicing the Truth
Ellery Akers


Winner of the 2014
Autumn House Poetry Prize,
selected by Alicia Ostriker
ISBN: 978-1-938769-04-7

button (3)



With the passion and determination of an abuse survivor, the exploring mind of a naturalist, and the soul energy of a language-loving poet, Akers gives us not one truth but layer on layer of overlapping truths.  “You ask what saved me,” Akers writes, and the whole book is an answer. In one poem, a tree speaks to its seedling: “Open your hands, now.” In another, a leaf hosts a wasp egg, and ultimately

                                The wasp breaks out
and veers into the world. The gall stays on the leaf.
Only a hole remains where the wasp bit its way out.
The leaf is beautiful, in its way.
It’s got this mad cathedral at its center

Are we not all like that leaf?
-Alicia Ostriker