Books

Slow Arrow: Unearthing the Frail Children

A collection of lyric, braided, environmental, and familial essays to be published by Saddle Road Press March 2020

Slow Arrow: Unearthing the Frail Children explores in the microcosm of a forty-acre high mountain meadow and its surrounding lands vast worlds of ecological and familial migrations.  The announcement by her eighty-five-year-old mother that she would be moving to Colorado to live out her last years sparks Winograd into a journey into what it means to be a steward of a land and its inhabitants she knows little about and steward of a grieving mother sliding irrevocably into the blindness she fears and the dying for which she longs.

Expanded gold mines, drought-induced wildfires, sudden aspen decline, solitary hawks and summer-pastured longhorns, coyote and elusive cougar, fairy trumpets: read more at Saddle Road Press.

Slow Arrow, Unearthing the Frail Children, by Kathy Winograd excavates beauty from stone. It extracts gossamer from granite. Her frail children are butterflies that spend the last stage of their brief lives mimicking the beauty of the earth.  They are leaves fossilized in stone. In this beautiful and evocative book about a dying mother, dying animals, and a stricken, dying planet, we realize that we and the world around us are all frail children following, inexorably, the slow arrow of time.—Steven Harvey author of The Book of Knowledge and Wonder.


Slow Arrow: Unearthing the Frail Children is the best kind of lyrical wandering. These linked essays grow out of a place—beloved, disappointing, challenging, and richly inhabited by both creatures and memory. Winograd’s pondering ranges across and between questions of migration, habitat destruction, responsibility, the will to exist, and the spiritual life of a nonspiritual person Slow Arrow takes its time, and in the process, with heartbreakingly beautiful prose, forces readers to slow down. Bit by bit, Winograd dabs like an Impressionist pieces of personal story and natural history, accumulating and excavating an emotional landscape from within the physical one in which she lives–compelling readers onward simply for the sheer pleasure of seeing how she keeps all the story threads in line.  —Laura Julier, editor, Fourth Genre


Reading Slow Arrow, I’m in awe of Kathryn Winograd’s artistry. In these ten essays, plus a preface and a coda, she interweaves an oft-rhapsodic syntax with a deft commingling of disparate subjects; she lingers on her contrastive solitudes, a Rocky Mountain cabin at 9600 feet, rife with wildness, and a Denver suburb, haunted by family tragedies; and she shifts between moods playful, literate, and grave so facilely that their consequent structures seem almost improvised. Winograd is daring the lyric essay to grow even more expressively diverse than it has to date. Such incitement of the form few writers attempt, let alone succeed at, and this book places her among America’s finest essayists.–Tom Larson, Author of Spirituality and the Writer


“Kathryn Winograd’s Slow Arrow blends narratives of family, region, and culture in simultaneously lyrical and observant ways. The reader feels present at the most intimate and immediate openings of the author’s synapses, inhabiting memory, emotion, and insight as it happens for her. A phenomenal achievement, powerful and haunting.”—Robert Root, author of Happenstance and Postscripts: Retrospections on Time and Place and editor of Landscapes with Figures: The Nonfiction of Place


A beautifully crafted, eclectic, collection. Part philosophical speculation, part mythology, part family history, part environmental and social critique, these braided lyric essays on place pulse with felt life. In Slow Arrow, Kathy Winograd offers us reflective meditations on such natural phenomena as physical beauty, migration, gravitational waves, and fossils, among others, in addition to explorations of larger, universal matters–illness, death, and mortality.—-Michael Steinberg , Founding Editor, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction

Phantom Canyon: Essays of Reclamation

The mountains of the American West are the setting for healing and personal development in this collection of lyrical essays. From forest fires to mountain lions, an Ohio farm to a Colorado cabin, and from violation to silence to reclamation, Kathryn Winograd draws keen attention to the details that braid her own history with that of the land on which she dwells with her husband and daughters, and with that of anyone who has experienced loss and fought for renewal. The essays become a ring of concentric circles, where one builds upon the next to achieve deeper meaning and truth, revealing mercy at its center. Finalist, Foreword INDIES Award.

“In these lyric essays, Kathryn Winograd mines the ore of girl, daughter, mother, wife, and writer, wilding her selves against Colorado’s high country. The immediacy and traction Winograd gets by pinning herself to mountain place and women’s emotion, whether alive now or in memory, is breathtaking, at times, sublime. What a tough essayist—and tender voice—the West has been waiting for all these years, ever since the ancient ones first arrived.” —Thomas Larson, author, The Sanctuary of Illness

“Winograd finds the most unlikely containers for the most urgent subjects. How does one reconcile, in the natural world, science and faith? Eyes, mind, and heart wide open, Winograd shows us what she can hold in her hand—shotguns, bird eggs, mushroom spores—and tilts our chins up to study the night sky . . . The very best books invent their own genres and Winograd’s Phantom Canyon has done just that. The shimmering syntax, the metaphor, the way the patterned images add up to something that wasn’t there before—that’s the lyric. But there’s also a story there. Phantom Canyon is a page-turner, a collection of lyric essays you won’t be able to put down. As a writer, teacher, mother, daughter, and survivor, I needed this book. You do, too.” —Jill Christman, author, Darkroom: A Family Exposure

“In Phantom Canyon Kathryn Winograd takes her place among America’s most celebrated writers—Thoreau and Annie Dillard come immediately to mind—who turn to the violence and beauty of nature to spark deeper understandings of the human community, and of the body and mind. Winograd adds to the mix her own insistence to confront even the most violent personal trauma—her own experience being raped as a child. For Kathryn Winograd the lyrical imagination, spiritual healing, and the love of beauty everywhere around us, come most fully alive only through recognizing also the harsher realities of the human condition . . . Winograd offers us the fullness and frailty of her own life, the natural world and the people she loves.” —Stephen Haven, author, The Last Sacred Place in North America


Air Into Breath

This is the first collection of poems by the 1989 runner-up for the Yale Younger Poets Prize. AIR INTO BREATH is the winner of the 2003 Colorado Authors’ League Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the 2003 Colorado Book Award in Poetry. Poems from this powerfully lyrical collection have been published in The New Yorker, The Antioch Review, The Denver Quarterly, TriQuarterly, The Ohio Review, and in many other journals.

Kathryn Winograd’s richly lyrical, beautifully descriptive first book of poems charts the passage of a woman caught in the very heart of life, participating in the rhythms of nature, eagerly holding onto what is passing and is past, desperately holding fast to what she most cherishes. Air into Breath is a splendid collection. – Edward Hirsch

With Air into Breath, Kathryn Winograd announces and enacts new sacraments of transgression.  These poems boldly, dearly cross the borders between humanness and worldliness, ever mindful of the meanings of the crossing.- Donald Revell


Stepping Sideways Into Poetry

A practicing poet who works in schools shares poetry lessons that ease teachers and students into writing poetry. The fun, friendly exercises include writing riddle poems, fractured fairy tale poems, vegetable-and-me poems, and many others.

On a personal note, I found myself doing the book as well as reading it. Be prepared to smile often when reading Stepping Sideways. It is jam-packed with lively, uplifting poetry and creative ideas to improve not only the art of teaching but also the human connections among students, teachers, and the world around us all.