Hamline News

Book Launch Reading for MFA Alumn

Deborah Tall Full Story

Jessica Lind Peterson's debut essay collection, Sound Like Trapped Thunder, is the winner of the 2020 Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book Prize, selected by Jenny Boully. To be released on March 15, 2021.  Preorder here.  

 Sound Like Trapped Thunder   was originally slated for a fall 2020 publication, but we have pushed its release back to the spring due to the COVID pandemic. As with all winning titles of the Deborah Tall Lyric Essay Book prize, it will be published in lieu of a fall issue of Seneca Review. Subscribers will receive a copy of the book. 

 In essays on subjects ranging from seahorse mating rituals to an urgent letter addressing a grizzly bear, from a wounded hummingbird to an old woman following the call of a lonely whale, Jessica Lind Peterson explores tensions between domesticity and wildness, often discovering latent elements of magic within the mundane. Full of lyrical sentences, stylized prose, and moments that are by turns funny and poignant, and often both at once, Sound Like Trapped Thunder troubles the distinction between the human and the animal, calling into question such tidy categories we rely upon to help make sense of ourselves and the world we live in. 

The launch reading for Sound Like Trapped Thunder   will be hosted virtually by Seneca Review Books on Thursday, March 18 at 7 pm CT. 

CRITICAL PRAISE for Sound Like Trapped Thunder

"Infused with startling metaphor and similes, the poetic sparks of her images are only outdone by her ability to bring her trove into crisp focus, revealing the core of the very thing she wanted to save us from. Sound Like Trapped Thunder is a deep dive into despair, yes, but also reveals how lovely is the ascent." - Jenny Boully

"In Jessica Lind Peterson's collection, she composes sentences like music, challenging prose grammar, fiddling the strings of syntax like one would bow a violin. The staccato rhythm, the lush reach, the looping of the line, all contribute to a compelling collage of essays on family, the external world, and the thorny relationships between people. With the investigatory devotion of a Stein but the sharp wit of an Ursule Molinaro, these essays captivate." - Kazim Ali

"Jessica Lind Peterson's essay collection Sound Like Trapped Thunder delights and unsettles at once. This is no wide-eyed nature book that expounds on the goodness of a pristine place, but one that holds awe and terror in equal measures; it celebrates, probes, wrestles with and questions the cruelty, loneliness, beauty and mystery of the natural world, and in doing so,searches for a way to situate the human heart within it-animals that we are-to find home, build home, and come home all at once." -Angela Pelster-Wiebe