When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.
When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with the most unlikely boy in school and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.
“I savored and cherished this funny, tender, poetic novel about yearning, love, loss, ambition, and the big questions of life. When I turned the last page, I felt joy for knowing these characters, and a rare and unique sadness that I’d never again get to read this novel for the first time.”
Margo Rabb, author of Kissing in America and Cures for Heartbreak
“I’m Not Missing is an utterly captivating, suspenseful, character-rich gift of a book. The interweaving of place, people, drama is so compelling. I laughed, I cried, I was seventeen again. This book has won my heart.” ― Naomi Shihab Nye, award-winning author of Habibi
A moving, authentic exploration of spirituality and the domestic from a prize-winning poet
The wry, supple poems in Carrie Fountain’s second collection take the form of prayers and meditations chronicling the existential shifts brought on by parenthood, spiritual searching, and the profound, often beguiling experience of being a self, inside a body, with a soul. Fountain’s voice is at once deep and loose, enacting the dawning of spiritual insight, but without leaving the daily world, matching the feeling of the “pure holiness in motherhood” with the “thuds the giant dumpsters make behind the strip mall when they’re tossed back to the pavement by the trash truck.” In these wise, accessible, deeply emotional poems, she captures a contemporary longing for spiritual meaning that’s wary of prepackaged wisdom—a longing answered most fully by attending to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
"The poems in Instant Winner...spark and flare off the page." The Rumpus
"The poems of Instant Winner capture the complexities of motherhood and life and present them with reverence, as gifts." Brain, Child Magazine
"Each poem reflects a rediscovery of vulnerability and the purity of new life." Publishers Weekly
"It is not simply a colloquial quality or seeming friendliness that draws me to Fountain; underneath this voice, there seems a highly charged current of desire and need." Kenyon Review
Winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series Award
With grace and a keen attention to the implications of history, the poems in Burn Lake grapple with what it means to be tied to a place, knowing that our own losses are not only what is taken from us, but also what we take from others. “A road is the crudest faith in things to come,” Fountain writes, suggesting the palpable longing that winds through these poems. Natasha Trethewey
I sat down to take a quick look at Carrie Fountain’s book and suddenly an hour had passed. Then I noticed I’d dog-eared almost every page I’d read. I’m stunned by the power of these poems. Here’s all the real trouble we’re in: death and time and pain – held in a clear crisp collection that seems made of joy. More than a dozen times I laughed out loud. How is this possible? Burn Lake is a miracle. Marie Howe
In Burn Lake Carrie Fountain’s poems join intensity of vision to a verbal firmness which is uncommon and very satisfying. Her work reminds me of the poems of Marie Howe and of Brigit Kelly; like them, Fountain is a seeker, and like them, she holds herself to the rigorous standards of observation and deduction that make spiritual intelligence convincing. And these are spiritual poems– tough, alert, and never sentimental, but written by a soul cast fatally into the material world, always looking for the truth behind, under, and beyond. Burn Lake goes at experience as if it were a closed fist, then forces that fist open to show what is inside. Tony Hoagland