A collection of poems and images that reflect our complex relationship with other-than-human animals.
Kind is the kind of poetry book that makes you think differently about our world and the beings that inhabit it. Primack explores all facets of our lives with other beings—the beauty, the tragedy, and the absurdity that surrounds her existence. Kind cuts to one’s emotional core to make us think and feel.
“It is this poet’s calling to hold kindness and its opposite in tension. What is that opposite? The poems in this volume offer unsettling answers. With Gretchen Primack’s poems, the absence of kindness causes a quaking in our bodies. A lyrical language of the present tense evokes a fierce and tender impatience with what should never have been settled for.”—Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat
“If it is true that one knows oneself best by observing how one treats others then this book of poems by Gretchen Primack is essential reading. Read these poems for the truth they tell about our relationship to and treatment of the creatures we take to be our property; read this book and ponder its many questions, for example ‘Who are the beasts?’ and ‘What can I do?’”—Kazim Ali, author of The Voice of Sheila Chandra
“How often does one get starstruck by a poet? When I read Gretchen Primack’s animal poems, I was starstruck instantly. How could someone crystallize my own feelings about animals and humanity so beautifully, so powerfully, and so poignantly? Primack seems only capable of writing poetry so damn good that you will find yourself wanting to read it aloud to everyone you know who shares your compassion for animals…and to everyone you know who doesn’t.”—Marisa Miller Wolfson, filmmaker of Vegucated
“Kind—an unassuming, everyday word, a word sprung from the Old English kin, meaning family—stitches this book together because each poem herein is an aching missive written to animals, poems of love and protest that refuse to bow down to our order of what is worthy and what is less than, to separate what is ‘born for love or commerce,’ to set apart what is human versus not. Each poem dissolves and reshapes these divisions with inexhaustible empathy and a ferocious determination that pleads— yea, even demands—kindness for all living beings.”—Nickole Brown, author of To Those Who Were Our First Gods
“Gretchen Primack knows that animals ‘cannot forget hell for even a day, and so [she] cannot either.’ She is infused with an abnormal amount of empathy, which fills her heart with kindness, awe, and hope. She wants to live ‘somewhere else, somewhere kind,’ so she spends her time shifting into that place where every being matters, and she takes us with her.”—Sharon Gannon, author of Magic is a Shift in Perception