Zigzagging across the globe, Kate Sutherland's fourth book is poetry by way of collage: pieced-together excerpts from travellers' journals, ships' logs, textbooks and manuals, individual testimony, and fairy and folk tales that tell stories of the extinction of various species, and of the evolution of human understanding of—and culpability for—the phenomenon. Across its three sections, Sutherland draws identifiable connections between various animal extinctions and human legacies of imperialism, colonialism, capitalism, and misogyny, charting the ways in which they juxtapose one another while impacting the natural order of things.
A trenchant critique of humanity's disastrous effects on this world, The Bones Are There is also a celebration of incredible creatures, all sadly lost to us. It honours their memory by demanding accountability and encouraging resistance, so that we might stave off future irrevocable loss and preserve what wonders that remain.
Praise for The Bones Are There:
"In Sutherland's hands, the blank page becomes the sharpest tools. Sourced from contemporary scientific journals and natural exploration literature dating to long before the word scientist was even born, Sutherland presents us inventive collage poems full of the 'musculature' of the extinct and the wonders of (re)discovery" —Madhur Anand, author of This Red Lind Goes Straight to Your Heart
"With an archivist's touch and a lawyer's eagle eye, Kate Sutherland plunders historic texts to rip colonialism asunder." —a rawlings, author of wide slumber for lepidopterists and sound of mull