Let Our Bodies Change the Subject

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Pub Date 01 Sep 2023 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2023

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Description

National Jewish Book Award Finalist

Let Our Bodies Change the Subject is a poetry collection that dives headlong into the terrifying, wondrous, sleep-deprived existence of being a parent in twenty-first-century America. In clear, dynamic verses that disarm then strike, Jared Harél investigates our days through the keyhole of domesticity, through personal lyrics and cultural reckonings. Whether taking a family trip to Coney Island or simply showing his son snowflakes on Inauguration morning, Harél guides us toward moments of intimacy and understanding, humor and grief.

“I will try,” he admits, “to be better than myself, which is all/I’ve ever wanted and everything I need.” Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Let Our Bodies Change the Subject is a secular prayer. Hoping against hope, Harél works to reconcile feelings of luck and loss, of living for joy while fearing the worst.

National Jewish Book Award Finalist

Let Our Bodies Change the Subject is a poetry collection that dives headlong into the terrifying, wondrous, sleep-deprived existence of being a parent in...


A Note From the Publisher

The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry Series

The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry Series


Advance Praise

“This life, Jared Harél, says, is a sad rollercoaster, all of us with our arms up, screaming on the way down. Thwarted desires, the many losses, school shootings, bomb museums, plague, all seen through the eyes of parents and children. Even so, there are ‘sorbet-colored koi’ beneath a pond, a daughter singing, a father donating blood to the Red Cross, sea stars, morning prayers before work with Tefillin in sweatpants and socks. This book was written with, what Czeslaw Milosz is quoted as saying, ‘compassion for others entangled in the flesh.’”—Dorianne Laux, author of Only As the Day Is Long: New and Selected Poems

“Jared Harél explores the fullness of family—what it’s like to be a parent, with gun violence, hate, and disease lurking in the shadows but also awe and joy, and what it’s like to be a brother, a husband, a son, and holy skeptic. These poems—simple and heavy at the same time, smooth with crisp images—will bring you closer to yourself and the people you love.”—Jeffrey McDaniel, author of Thin Ice Olympics

“Meet Death in the guise of family, Desire in the kitchen, Lost Love in the driveway, Terror in an old truck, and Misfortune in waking up. Each clear and short poem deals with The Unimaginable and imagines it. How can anyone not need this book?”—Hilda Raz, author of Letter from a Place I’ve Never Been

“This life, Jared Harél, says, is a sad rollercoaster, all of us with our arms up, screaming on the way down. Thwarted desires, the many losses, school shootings, bomb museums, plague, all seen...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781496237293
PRICE $17.95 (USD)
PAGES 80

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Average rating from 11 members


Featured Reviews

A well-written and tender collection of poetry touching on the topics of family, romance, and grief. Harel takes us into the world of parenting during the 21st century and documents his children's wild wonderment. The prose is rich and lyrical and does a wonderful job of communicating emotion and energy. I didn't connect personally with a lot of the poems since I am...not a parent haha, but the empathy I felt was honest and helped build the bridge beneath my unfamiliarity.

My favorite poems are: "Elegy For Recycled Encyclopedias", "Let Our Bodies Change The Subject", and "Cordoba."

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Day 17 of #TheSealeyChallenge 2023. Let Our Bodies Change the Subject by Jared Harél published by University of Nebraska Press.

@SealeyChallenge @jaredharel @UnivNebPress

#thesealeychallenge2023 #sealeychallenge #poetry

Thanks to @NetGalley for the sneak peak! Pub date Sep 1. So many tender and poignant moments.

That the military felt it necessary to write bomb on its thermonuclear “hydrogen” bomb might be the greatest argument for never building one.

It’s a miracle that we are till the instant we aren’t.

I want to kiss you. Build asylum inside you.

you bring all your selves with you into the future.

nothing says revenge like the stillness of snow.

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“Let our Bodies Change the Subject” by Jared Harel (4 stars) (PubDate 9/1/2023!) is a collection of poems seeming to ask permission to be disenchanted with a life of young-child parenting and modern American society….many of the pieces feels like there is an unspoken up-tilt of tone at each conclusion, as if he’s asking the reader if his experience is really real., That feeling of being not quite sure if what you’re experiencing is real or formulaically imagined is definitely one I can identify with as a parent and as a unique human being distinct from my parent designation. I particularly liked the sensation of thinking “Wait, What?” after I read each poem…not in confusion but in a shared sense of imbalance in my life’s absurdity.

Positives: The language was conversational and relatable. The experiences were immediately visceral in their ability to center the reader in the frame of the authors mind during the writing of each piece. Because my children are 16 and 12, I felt like the author was asking questions that I had answers to because I have come out on the other side of 'parenting small irrational people" and have graduated to parenting 'ravenously hungry, large'ish irrational people'.

Wish List: Unrelated to the author or his craft, I wish I had been able to read the collection in hard copy. I did not realize how important the tangible viewing of the poem’s words on a page would be to my enjoyment and ability to connect with them, but reading the early copy on my e-reader felt like it detracted from the art. I will make sure to consume poetry in hard copy in future.

As always, I appreciate the opportunity afforded me to have an early read by netgalley and University of Nebraska Press. The opinions in this review are expressly those of ButIDigressBookClub and are intended for use by my followers and friends when choosing their next book. #butidigress #butidigressbookclub #letourbodieschangethesubject #netgalley @jaredharel #jaredharel @univnebpress

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I think Let Our Bodies Change the Subject by Jared Harél was a beautiful way of capturing parenting and how hard but rewarding it can be. Each poem told a story and all of the stories felt complete with each other. I loved how the poems weren't just "poetic" but were also funny. Overall great read!

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I loved this collection! For me, it was the perfect mix of really topical poems that reference events that we’d all know about and poems that speak to the authors life and experiences! There were poems that specifically stuck out to me, but the collection as a whole felt incredibly cohesive and flowed very well.

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Pretty Good!

Thank you to University of Nebraska Press and NetGalley for the gifted copy.

Let Our Bodies Change The Subject is a poetry collection that explores the importance of and challenges that come with parenting. A very personal account, the author leans on personal experiences with poetry that speaks to his relationship with his own parents, grandparents and also his two children. What I enjoyed most was the intimate moments on display as he recalls his perspectives on his mom and how little she knew about him. There is also poem called "Having a Third," for example, that speaks to him loving his two kids but having no desire for a third. An act he describes as a privilege of choice.

There were some poems in the collection that were clear and very much guided through the lens of parenthood. I really enjoyed those. The author has a knack for holding on to hope as he shares that his journey on being a father is a guessing game . Admittedly, some of the more abstract poems flew over my head, but I found this to be a good collection, nonetheless.

Let Our Bodies Change The Subject releases on September 1, 2023

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A really short poem collection.
It's funny and sometimes makes you think about your life.
I like it.

Thanks NetGalley and the author for an ARC!

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