Ear to the Wall


Ear to the Wall captures the awe, terror, and tension of a metamorphosis underway. Carrying both a child-like love of place and family, as well as a deep curiosity toward the dark, its voices play on the other side of the wall–the realm of memory, dreams, and ecstatic travel. Intensely alone, observant, surrounded by the ghosts of family and personal lore, speakers cover their fear with imaginative power. A girl conjures up a woman and a woman conjures up a child; purgatories, superstitions and apocalyptic visions blend with familiar images of pin cushions and stairwells, bedroom mirrors and backyards.



“Carrie Causey’s Ear to the Wall introduces us to a refreshingly genuine lyrical intelligence that is sure-footed, sprinter-quick, and ready to bewitch. We are led through the dreamscapes of Causey’s childhood—the bayous and waterways of the Atchafalaya Swamp—and there encounter its many restless spirits, including women “spell-locked in walls, still trying to get out.” The collection’s cumulative power is due in no small part to Causey’s formidable empathic gifts. Even when one speaker becomes “bright with the terror of too many gods,” Causey still manages to take us to a place “that makes everything sacred” where we, her fortunate readers, become “the bemused witness[es] to grace/working its cold sacrament.” This is a stunning collection, immensely powerful, dream-haunted and river-wise.” — Rick Hiles, author of Brother Salvage and Map of the Lost World.

“Open that door just a crack, peek inside: trouble and enchantment await.  You will find, I believe, Ms. Causey’s work is at once precise and expansive, meticulous and loose in the best possible way. The plain-spoken surrealism of her images strikes the balance one hopes for and so rarely finds. She’s one to be reckoned with.” — Daniel Lawless, editor of Plume Poetry.

“Causey manages to take her readers to a haunted place where walls are plagued by spirits, all terrifying and powerful. This contemporary southern-gothic spell the poet puts us under is a magnificent ode to the familiar and the familial, swamps and creeks, and a fascination with the after-life.” Gina Vaynshteyn, The Los Angeles Review.