publication date: March 15, 2022

preorders open on February 15, '22

Winner of the 2021 Nonfiction/Hybrid Chapbook Contest

Double Negative examines the grammatical logic that two negatives make a positive, that an impossibility can ever be resolved by word rearrangement or by rearrangements of the physical body. The impossibility in Double Negative is the death of an infant, the author’s son Jacob, from an immutable heart defect that medicine, nonetheless, asserts there are options to treat. When is the right time to die, especially if someone is just beginning life? Three decades after her decision regarding Jacob’s fate, Claudia Putnam employs poetry, physics, calculus, scientific research into a hallucinogen, and the structure of the English language to interrogate her experience with grief. She asks whether there might be a difference between not dying and living, exploring personhood, and wondering at how the living do, somehow, manage to orbit so close to the event horizon of a child’s death.

Praise for Double Negative:

“In exquisite prose that sparkles and pulses, Double Negative employs the long-essay form in an attempt to make manifest the nature of grief. Employing existentialism, the philosophy of space and time, theoretical astrophysics, the philosophy of mathematics, literature, studies of death, psychology, dreams, found material, and personal experience, the author leads us deep inside the mortal coil and its intersections of time and love and loss. Essaying at its best, this is a book that grabs you immediately while examining the difficult and impossible task of letting go.”

 —Jenny Boully, 2021 Split/Lip Press Nonfiction/Hybrid Contest judge

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