Birth Chart

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A collection of poems weaving together astrology, motherhood, music, and literary history.


In Birth Chart, a collection of heartfelt, ruthless poetry, Rachel Feder rethinks the relationship between astrology and motherhood. She asks, if astrology constellates the universe around the moment of one's birth, then how might it serve as shorthand for a vast number of personal experiences and cultural phenomena? How might it speak to and of friendship, motherhood, authorship, the mysteries of literary history, and the wonders of watching a child come into language? Across four sections, including a serial poem in sustained conversation with the modernist poet H. D., Feder's references range from group texts to the Talmud to ʼ90s song lyrics. In her hands—and her inimitable yet familiar, often straight-up funny voice—astrology is less a means of explaining the world than of communicating, of capturing a feeling, of sealing a bond. The result is an equally sentimental and sardonic collection in which "the language of explanation is a heart emoji. It means you know what I mean. " And we do.

Rachel Feder is Assistant Professor of English and Literary Arts at the University of Denver. She is the author of Harvester of Hearts: Motherhood under the Sign of Frankenstein, Bad Romanticisms, and the chapbook Words with Friends.