Taking a Walk in My Animal Hat (Bottom Dog Press, 2018), long-listed for the 2019 Julie Suk Award for Best Book of Poetry Published by a Literary Press and nominated for the Patterson Poetry Prize) features poems inspired by four-legged and winged beings. The poems fall into thematic sections: “Journey Through Owl” (transformations), “The Vexed Wind” (struggles), and “Tongue Without Words” (cross-species communications). Cover art by Hannah Bess Ross. https://www.hannahbessross.com
Recent Bottom Dog Press Titles
Frankenstein’s Flowers (CW Books, 2014) features poems inspired by myths, books, and films. Cover painting by Anita Dawson.
Out-of-print, copies available from the author at charlenefix.com
Harpo Marx as Trickster (McFarland 2013), a study of Harpo’s persona in the thirteen Marx Brothers films, began when Charlene woke one morning thinking Harpo Marx is a trickster. She had to figure out what that meant, so she studied trickster lore, created a trickster template to lay upon Harpo in the thirteen the Marx Brothers’ films, and watched the films over and over again. Lucky for her, the idea held up and even kept unfolding in ways she hadn’t anticipated. When she began, there was no critical study focused solely on Harpo, so writing Harpo Marx as Trickster felt like her homework from the Universe. It may also have been part of a zeitgeist! In year eight of the project, she woke with an insight about Harpo’s famous leg-hitch. You’ll have to read the book to find out what.
Harpo Marx as Trickster (film criticism/homage from McFarland)
The poems in Flowering Bruno: A Dography (XOXOX Press, 2006), finalist for the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry in 2007, flowed from ten years of walking the beloved Bruno, an Elkhound/Kesshond mix. One day over coffee, she told her colleague, Philosophy professor Susan Josephson, she had written sixty such poems. Susan said, “let me draw,” so the project began. Susan organized the poems into seasons. A fifth season evolved when Bruno became ill, Charlene kept writing, and Susan kept drawing. Flowering Bruno has been the subject of two art shows. Cover photograph by Sonya Fix.
Flowering Bruno: A Dography (poems, XOXOX Press)
Charlene’s chapbooks of poems are Mischief from Pudding House Press (2002, out-of-print but available from the author), cover drawing Footsie Couch by Madeleine Fix, and Charlene Fix: Greatest Hits, available from Kattywompus Press or the author.
Jewgirl, Charlene’s collection of poems forthcoming from Eyewear Publishing in 2021, a finalist for the Sexton Prize, sings of the complex emotional and political legacy of the particularity into which she was born. The poems grapple with the searing numbers tattooed on arms of the parents of some friends, and the subsequent moral crisis of her people: the suffering of Palestinians. They assert the imperative of never again for anyone. The influence of the predominantly Christian culture American Jews abide in becomes a subject too. Charlene was raised in a secular Jewish home, so you won’t find much of the rich brocade of tradition in Jewgirl. But you will find what is central to that tradition: the urge to tikkun olam, repair the world, and hopefully a little humor.
Forthcoming from Eyewear Publishing, Black Springs Group, Fall 2021. Contact EYEWEARPUBLISHING.COM