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Belle Point Press

Sensitive Creatures

Sensitive Creatures

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Sensitive Creatures, by Kirsten Reneau

In unflinching yet hopeful prose, this debut memoir in essays explores the most animal parts of our human nature. Discussions of various creatures in the natural world serve as portals to the painful realities Kirsten Reneau confronts in the process of breaking—and remaking—a home. Honest in their descriptions of sexual assault and its traumatic effects, these essays are at once clinical and lyrical reflections on the ways that desire can permeate our lives for better or worse, as well as how it can be channeled into a lifegiving force for women in a world often hostile to their basic needs. Sensitive Creatures ultimately is a story of darkness, resilience, and the light that still manages to crack through.

Kirsten Reneau is a writer living in the south. She graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College and received her MFA from the University of New Orleans. She is the author of two chapbooks, and her work has been published in The Threepenny Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, Reed Magazine, and others. This is her first full-length essay collection. 

Praise for Sensitive Creatures:

“When Kirsten Reneau takes us to the extremes of experience, she points at what someone else might consider trivial (a cicada, bar bathroom graffiti, a coffee filter), transforming observation into insight. Sensitive Creatures is an incredible accomplishment. I’m already excited to reread it.”

—Jeannie Vanasco, author of Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl and winner of the Ohioana Book Award

Sensitive Creatures is an emotional journey, taking readers through personal experiences where nothing is held back and the experiences of humanity are poetically bound to the animal world. Kirsten Reneau's essays are captivating, standing vigil over the past and showing readers how the world can be cruel, or beautiful, or often both.”

—Leah Myers, author of Thinning Blood: A Memoir of Family, Myth, and Identity

“Reneau’s beautiful, at times harrowing, debut collection of essays draws insights from nature as it chronicles her coming of age in a world that feels teeming with both danger and wonder. With poetic vigilance and formal experimentation, these essays are by turns playful and devastating. Yes, these pages hold their fair share of pain and grief but ultimately, like her cicadas and newts and hummingbirds, Reneau’s writing finds sustaining connection in the world—both grounded and exhilarating.”

—Anne Gisleson, author of The Futilitarians 


    • Publication date: March 19, 2024
    • ISBN: 978-1-960215-13-0
    • Trim size: 8.5 x 8.25 inches
    • Pages: 134

Review in Southern Review of Books

Review in trampset

Interview at Kith Books

Looking for more Belle Point prose? Check out our 2023 bundle!

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