Let Our Bodies Change the Subject is a poetry collection that dives headlong into the terrifying, wondrous, sleep-deprived existence of being a parent in twenty-first-century America. In clear, dynamic verses that disarm then strike, Jared Harél investigates our days through the keyhole of domesticity, through personal lyrics and cultural reckonings. Whether taking a family trip to Coney Island or simply showing his son snowflakes on Inauguration morning, Harél guides us toward moments of intimacy and understanding, humor and grief.
“I will try,” he admits, “to be better than myself, which is all/I’ve ever wanted and everything I need.” Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Let Our Bodies Change the Subject is a secular prayer. Hoping against hope, Harél works to reconcile feelings of luck and loss, of living for joy while fearing the worst.
About the Author
Jared Harél is the author of Go Because I Love You. He has been awarded the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize from American Poetry Review and the William Matthews Poetry Prize from Asheville Poetry Review. His poems have appeared in 32 Poems, Beloit Poetry Journal, Bennington Review, New Ohio Review, Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, the Southern Review, and The Sun. Harél teaches writing, plays drums, and lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife and two children.
"These poems speak to us because Harél's angst is relatable and real and cannot be wished away or dismissed with rational explanations or neat poetic pronouncements. If we choose to journey with him, we can keep exploring the questions together and benefit from his companionship as we continue to explore the enigma of what it means to be human. There is joy and truth in that."—Karen Corinne Herceg, diode poetry
“This life, Jared Harél says, is a sad rollercoaster, all of us with our arms up, screaming on the way down. Thwarted desires, the many losses, school shootings, bomb museums, plague, all seen through the eyes of parents and children. Even so, there are ‘sorbet-colored koi’ in a pond, a daughter singing, a father donating blood to the Red Cross, sea stars, morning prayers before work with Tefillin in sweatpants and socks. This book was written with, what Czeslaw Milosz is quoted as saying, ‘compassion for others entangled in the flesh.’”—Dorianne Laux, author of Only As the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems
“Meet Death in the guise of family, Desire in the kitchen, Lost Love in the driveway, Terror in an old truck, and Misfortune in waking up. Each clear and short poem deals with The Unimaginable and imagines it. How can anyone not need this book?”—Hilda Raz, author of Letter from a Place I’ve Never Been
“Jared Harél explores the fullness of family—what it’s like to be a parent, with gun violence, hate, and disease lurking in the shadows but also awe and joy, and what it’s like to be a brother, a husband, a son, and holy skeptic. These poems—simple and heavy at the same time, smooth with crisp images—will bring you closer to yourself and the people you love.”—Jeffrey McDaniel, author of Thin Ice Olympics