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Belle Point Press

Reading Berryman to the Dog

Reading Berryman to the Dog

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Reading Berryman to the Dog, by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Originally published in 2000, this new edition of Wendy Taylor Carlisle’s debut collection explores the weight of memory, the risks of love, and the life that remains possible through loss. While paying homage to the American poet John Berryman, Carlisle’s voice remains distinct in its approach and vision, while staying open to the world despite its pains and promises of failure. Reading Berryman to the Dog can now reach a new audience coming to terms with similar tragic themes while seeking a hopeful path forward.


Wendy Taylor Carlisle lives in the Arkansas Ozarks. She is the author of four books and five chapbooks and is the 2020 winner of the Phillip H. McMath Post-Publication Award for her fourth book, The Mercy of Traffic.


Praise for Reading Berryman to the Dog:

“The poems of Wendy Taylor Carlisle are vibrant, original, intelligent, tough, funny, and sharp as a first-time blade. I admire them utterly. They do not contain a single extra word. They have the power to transport, to remind, in all the best senses of that word, re-mind to uplift and enlarge the mental faculties to a finer degree of sensibility. . . . I appreciate the heat and summer here. That’s one lucky dog.”

—Naomi Shihab Nye, former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets

“‘The body stores it all,’ writes Wendy Taylor Carlisle. In this strong collection, the mother brakes at a stop sign and flings her arm across the child’s chest, the dead ‘never lay their fingers on a sunburned arm,’ and the lover ‘invade[s] her nostrils as a hot, metallic smell.’ From classical reference to personal recollection, the poems in Reading Berryman to the Dog are vivid and immediate.”

—Penelope Scambly Schott, author of Waving Fly Swatters at Angels

Praise for Wendy Taylor Carlisle:

 “The history, deep south surroundings, and personal convictions of poet Wendy Taylor Carlisle are a collective wonder to behold.”

—Gabriel Ricard, Drunk Monkeys review of The Mercy of Traffic

Review in The Poetry Question 


  • Publication Date: February 7, 2023
  • Trim size: 6x9 inches
  • 62 pages
  • ISBN: 979-8-9858965-6-5

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