Slate Roof Press


Walk Through Paradise Backwards

Price: $17.00
(2nd edition)
Letterpress Cover
Handsewn Binding
ISBN: 0-9760643-0-8

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Now back in print, second edition August 2018

I Was Never One

of those matter-
of-fact mothers,
who tell their children
this is thus or what
to do. Though I knew
how to hold my babies
as soon as they were
handed to me, I could feel
how tremulous a life was.
This animal cradled on my heart, mine
for the naming, how was I to guess
at what it wanted?
Milk, yes. Love, yes. To lie on
me and sleep--yes, yes. But
what I wanted to know
about my babies stitched back
to what I'd been
when I was young--
to what I'd wanted--
and I couldn't remember that.
Sometimes, under my baby--
me a boulder, she a lion--
I'd feel our hearts beat
not as one, but stranger
still, as two hearts
pulsing through what
came between them--two
sets of ribs, two muscle walls, two
layers of skin. That I had pushed
my daughters from the dark
unknown of my own
body--I never
got over that.

Trish Crapo's work possesses the clarity, passion, and strong natural imagery that create the genuine presence of life. It truly gives back to me, in the words of Edwin Muir, "the emotion out of which it was born," a rare pleasure.

-- Barry Sternlieb, Editor, Mad River Press

Traversing the territories of grief, mothering, and the natural world, Trish Crapo is sure-footed and exploratory, gently turning things on their heads while assuring us that "Grace is on the ground." I welcome her clear, fresh voice.

-- Ellen Doré Watson, We Live In Bodies


Trish Crapo's chapbook, Walk Through Paradise Backwards, was published by Slate Roof Press in November, 2004. Her poems have appeared in anthologies, including Crossing Paths: An Anthology of Poems by Women, (Mad River Press, 2002) and The Anthology of New England Writers (2000). She’s also been published in journals, including Osiris, Bark, Southern Poetry Review, and the medical journal, CHEST. She writes a fiction column for The Women's Review of Books and covers poetry and visual arts as a freelancer for The Recorder, an award-winning newspaper in Greenfield, MA. A two-week residency in the wild dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore gave rise to her book Dune Shack, a compilation of photos and written musings on the connection between solitude and creativity. She lives in Leyden. Visit her website: