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The history of Illinois, more an idea than a state, is re-presented in the prose poems of Literature for Nonhumans. Illinois was once an ecoparadise teeming with indigenous species. Now it is, Gabriel Gudding tells us, a “notable absence of nonhuman animal,” and a starting place to turn inside-out the language of everyday slaughter. Gudding’s historiographic prose poetry illustrates our changed relation to nonhuman animals, this poem-cum-expository essay displaying the wild nonhumans of Illinois—birds, mammals, and more—renamed to parody the language of biologists, whose language is a different kind of animal cage.