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Sprawl: Poems by Andrew Collard
Ohio University Press, March 2023

Sprawl by Andrew Collard is a reconstruction of the constantly shifting landscape of metropolitan Detroit, which extends over six counties and is home to over four million people, from the perspective of a single parent raising a young child amid financial precarity. Part memoir, part invention, the book is Andrew Collard’s attempt to reconcile the tenderness and sense of purpose found in the parent-child relationship with ongoing societal crises in the empire of the automobile. Here, a mansion may contrast with a burned-out home just up the street. How does one construct a sense of place in such a landscape, where once-familiar neighborhoods turn to strip malls or empty lots and the relationships that root us dissolve? Sprawl suggests that there is solace in recognizing that when we ask this question, we are never alone in asking.

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