by Kat Frick


ISBN 9781941561133


Publication date: September 1, 2018

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I start to organize, but nothing matches. We delay our trip, and then we delay again. I ask if you’re angry with me. [What I did in your dream.] I can’t stop checking the weather. You say no, but I wonder. How these items should go with these items, but the drawer won’t hold it all. How this used to be a complete set. We say we should get on the road by six. We look at the sky, we look at our phones. We try to gauge the proper level of threat.

We fill the tires. Your eyes follow me across the air stream. [What I did in your dream.] How “miscellany” is the anti-label. We get on the road by eight. We agree we know the drive so well. The dark won’t hold us back.


“In A Small Rising Up in the Lungs, language shimmers at the heart of all things. Kit Frick uses the page like a canvas, spacing words so the reader is made aware of both space and time. A Small Rising Up in the Lungs is a stunning meditation on the act of seeing, being, and this perilously fleeting thing we call life.”

author of My Life as a Silent Movie
and the Alex Award-winning Space: A Memoir

“Wallace Stevens called it ‘a curious puffing.’ Kit Frick calls it A Small Rising Up in the Lungs. Both speak to the modest, insistent, and inquisitive utterance that wants nothing less than to ‘unvex’ the world. Frick maps the topography and digs into the cultural anthropology of our time. She uncovers a place inhabited by laconic, wanting, shuffling, axe-wielding, cruel, lonely men ‘sick with urgency’ who ‘manufacture nostalgia’ as they prepare for disaster. They want answers. They can’t abide laws. I recognize these men, don’t you? This uncanny, bright first book is a ‘minor adjustment’ that calls for an exceedingly large revision to what we thought we knew.”

author of the William Carlos Williams Award-winning Devotions
and Pulitzer Prize finalist The Other Lover

“In A Small Rising Up in the Lungs, Kit Frick journeys, over land and sea, through silence and doubt, the destination always receding further into the distance. Always, in these poems, Frick’s language is luminous and spare; here, danger shimmers beautifully just below the surface. ‘In this place we define things,’ Frick writes, ‘in terms of absence,’ and still these poems are insistent in their strength, in their presence.”

New York Times bestselling author
of the Charlotte Holmes series and Girl-King

“If the term inspiration denotes both creative invigoration and the intake of breath, then Kit Frick’s poetry collection A Small Rising Up in the Lungs is a place where every line fills the reader with new fuel. In poems that feel at once contemporary and timeless, Frick teaches us to hold silence against our chest like a stunned wren, to place ourselves at the shore of real and imagined oceans, and to read passersby as a faint, familiar script. The poem ‘Arroyo’ instructs us that, ‘In this place we define things. In terms of absence. No new / air. No saving grace. Our suspicion is: There are better ways / of understanding.’ The pauses and absences in this collection grant us entry to the narrative, and allow us to breathe—and thrive—beneath its surface. This is a bright, mesmerizing debut, not to be missed.”

author of O Holy Insurgency and Small Enterprise

“What’s stunning about Kit Frick’s A Small Rising Up in the Lungs is how she develops not only a sense of place, but a sense of people in that place—a place and people who exist both in the fantasy of imagined landscape and the settled quiet of the everyday. The language stuns, too; her fragments allow for multiple meaning; she builds for us an opening. She writes, ‘our words can’t contain the bigness of rooms,’ but even more than bigness, Frick’s words contain smallness—of the world, of the town, of the individual life. She brews a general sense of stasis, still but crushing, like the atmosphere on Venus. The book builds upon itself in layers that work like a pressure cooker, urging us to allow it to contain a little more, and a little more. Frick writes, ‘I ask // a lot // adore me anyway.’ She does, and I do.”

author of Saint X and Flood Bloom

“Kit Frick is a poet whose ear is tuned to the fine and particular. Her spare lines and muscular syntax build a troublesome dream of the American West that leaves us uneasily suspended between mystery and threat.”

author of Fair Copy and Vow