About the Book
Amie Whittemore’s Nest of Matches is a lavish declaration of the beauty of the natural world, queer identity, and of the imagination set free. Whittemore’s third collection explores the complexities of love—romantic, familial, and love for place—and wonders at cycles of life, finding that: “Every habit / even love—strangest / of them all—offers exhaustion / and renewal.” Moving seamlessly from meditations on the moon’s phases to explorations of dream spaces to searches for meaning through patterns of love and loss, Whittemore’s work embodies the mysteries of dichotomies—grief and joy, consciousness and unconsciousness, habit and spontaneity—and how they coexist to create our identities. Throughout the collection, Whittemore reveals how interior nature manifests into exterior habits and how physical landscapes shape the psyche.
Praise for Nest of Matches
In Nest of Matches, Amie Whittemore has the audacity to create a series of poems titled “Another Queer Love Poem that Fails” and then embeds them in a book that beautifies queerness as a source of possibility, transformation, and survival. The poems in Nest of Matches struggle with understanding the queer self as lovable, as desirable, even as worthy of life (“is it possible to love one’s own tattered self, treat it like a switch-queen”). Yet, at the same time, this book celebrates and anoints this confused, combustible self (“Litter, confetti; what’s / the difference? It shines like it belongs”). This is a book of winter on the cusp of spring, a heart that wants to abandon “good [as] a synonym for being good.” If you are lost in the dark, Whittemore will grab hold of your hand and run with you toward the moon.
—Eric Tran, winner of the Oregon Book Award for Poetry