We Come Elemental
We Come Elemental
“The poems in Tamiko Beyer’s We Come Elemental. . . float together, each buoyant image sinking at a different speed into the same ocean. These are environmental poems, but not pastoral; we don’t see the traditional imagery of untouched meadows or flowing springs, instead, Beyer gives us pollution and unease. This sense of destruction flows through the collection is Beyer’s way of heightening our awareness [of] environmental destruction.”
—Poets at Work
Available in print.
Tamiko Beyer is a poet and freelance writer. She is the author of the poetry collection, We Come Elemental (Alice James Books) and two chapbooks: Dovetail (co-authored with Kimiko Hahn, Slapering Hol Press) and bough breaks (Meritage Press). Her poems, reviews, and essays appear or are forthcoming in Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, Georgia Review, Literary Hub, the Rumpus, Hyphen, Dusie, and elsewhere. She has received grants and fellowships from Kundiman and the Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund among others. A social justice communications writer and strategist, she spends her days writing truth to power. She live in Dorchester, MA and online at tamikobeyer.com.
“Tamiko Beyer’s collection of poems, We Come Elemental, confirms the arrival of an exciting new talent, a poet whose ability to mine seemingly infinite meanings from objects and ideas permits an exploration of the contradictory, paradoxical, and complicated nature of human existence.”
“What Beyer has created in We Come Elemental is a universe in miniature, a collection of lyrics encompassing the world, its degradation and its beauty both.”
“[Tamiko Beyer] brings the sad, tiny lyric poem that lately has been used to express mere post-postmodernist nonsense, and delivers to us a charged, politically relevant, aesthetically revealing book. Beyer is the real deal. Read this book.”
“What is remarkable about We Come Elemental is that it effectively queers nature and body without explicitly doing so…. Gender, sexuality, and body coexist with the ever-changing tides, and desire is upheld as a pure form of (re)creation. Beyer has written a nuanced book that deserves a careful, joyous, and thoughtful read.”
“In her lovely, complicated poems, Beyer . . . suggests that queerness isn’t relegated to gender or love but is part of the ebb and flow of everything.”
“We Come Elemental introduces us to a poet of uncommon elegance and mystery. These poems act as a tour guide for the human heart, with sparse and fragrant writing. Haunting and full of humanity, these poems lash us to the world underwater and through the body politic with a sizzling ear and eye for what makes the body thrum.”
“It is easy to notice that We Come Elemental is beautifully written, a book indebted to the traditions of lyric and yet attentive to language’s possible innovations. But it is important to notice that it is a book of complicated dialogue between ecologies, geographies, and bodies. Nitrogen, the plastics of the North Pacific Gyre, New Orleans, Saint Louis, lantern fish, muscles of the body, all of it is there, floating together in the body of the poem.”
“An elegant, dynamic collection immersed in the insistent logic, memory, and drive of water, We Come Elemental invites us to inhabit the possibilities endemic to our relentlessly material living being. Fluid and arresting, subtle yet bold, Beyer’s linguistic dexterity showcases a singularly perceptive, refined intelligence and its artful, intimate deliberation upon some of the most critical questions of our time.”
—Duriel E. Harris
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