Wound Channels

The prose poems in Wound Channels force us to bear the emotional weight of making do in a violent culture. Leigh Chadwick’s collection measures the wages of living in a changing world as she finds solace in small miracles seeking connection in likely and unlikely places: love and death; wounds both physical and psychic; a collection of words we’ll memorize so deeply they’ll keep us awake and trembling.

Chadwick, as she’s become known for, carries the anchor of gun violence with her, the weight of burden as she dives into America’s gun culture and the violent gulf between the fearful and the feared. Wound Channels hoists the reader into a world we both love and hate, a world that makes us question ourselves and the future. Its accessible language, bluntness, and deftness make this collection one that belongs on ever poetry reader’s shelf.


Praise for Wound Channels


There is a gun in the first act of this book, but Chekhov needn’t worry—it goes off in every poem after that. It goes off and goes off and goes off, because these are American poems, and in America a gun is always going off. “I hate that this is another gun poem,” the speaker says at one point, wishing instead to write about kissing under a streetlamp. Leigh Chadwick offers us no easy answers in this delightful and wrenching collection of prose poems, merely a crystal-clear rendering of the terror, absurdity, mundanity, and beauty of what it’s like to be alive in this time, in this country.

—Amorak Huey, author of Dad Jokes from Late in the Patriarchy

Leigh Chadwick manipulates possibility like a magician, effortlessly pulling back a heavy curtain to demonstrate how the things you imagine can become something real—like a daydream or the way a ghost might touch your shoulder and then disappear. Wound Channels is a book I would recommend for every shelf: Poetry to bring us forward, because it is always moving forward. As Chadwick reminds us, “Everything starts with your words.”

—Danielle Rose, author of at first & then

With an unflinching gaze, Leigh Chadwick’s Wound Channels conjures our contemporary moment of guns and pop culture obsession with searing clarity. Chadwick’s poems evoke our lurid American world with a direct and poignant voice. Her poems show us a parent begging her daughter to stay out of her grave and watch the magnolias bloom or imagine a new radically invasive projectile. The poem’s unsparing look at our love affair with guns is counterbalanced by tenderness and hope when the poet describes those she loves. For foreplay, my husband and I swim in a pond as ducks throw pieces of stale bread. The poems describe battling mental illness, a child in the hospital, dead dinosaurs, and a minivan-driving Jesus. In every case, Chadwick is alive to language, lacing her poems with humor and unique imagination. At heart, her poems ask us to stare directly at the world we’ve wrought, but they also give us the rare gift of turning us back to the world, and the imperative to hold tightly to that which we love.

—Andrew Bertaina, author of One Person Away From You

To read poetry by Leigh Chadwick is to experience life with her, as her. Leigh Chadwick writes with complete abandon and taps into an emotional realism and vulnerability so often lurking just beneath the surface of other writers’ work. Nothing lurks here. All is laid bare, and it is glorious.

—Adrienne Marie Barrios, editor-in-chief of Reservoir Road Literary Review


ELJ Editions: $17 + s/h

Small Press Distribution: $20 + s/h


1st 35 preorders will receive this adjustable mood ring with their book.

Unable to send mood rings internationally.