Cassondra Windwalker was born a derelict child of the plains who couldn’t wait to make it to the mountains. She earned a BA of Letters from the University of Oklahoma and worked as a journalist, a bookseller, and a deputy sheriff before devoting herself to writing full-time. She has lived in Oklahoma, Indiana, and Colorado, and presently awaits her next adventure from the southern coast of Alaska. Her previous titles include the novels Bury The Lead, Preacher Sam, and Idle Hands, and the full-length poetry collections The Almost-Children and tide tables and tea with god. She welcomes engagement with readers and fellow artists on Twitter @WindwalkerWrite and on Instagram @CassondraWindwalker.
The Bench by Cassondra Windwalker
The force of fiction, the rhythm of poetry, Windwalker’s latest places tangible inanimacy at the intersection of heartbreaking experience. About writing, John Prine said, “Save your details for things that exist.” With The Bench, Windwalker drags her unique scalpel into the center of a year that exists beyond comprehension. The result is an uncompromising narrative, stitched together by tragedy, injustice and oppression. —Noah C. Lekas, poet of Saturday Night Sage
Windwalker’s documentary-like precision expertly weaves a poetry of witness centering on a seemingly simple bench that operates as a lyrical thread to hold these artfully rendered poetic narratives together. “What does a bench say,” Windwalker asks readers to consider, telling us that “this testament to frailty became a repository of strength.” So, too, does the bench become a place for the reader to rest, for Windwalker has invited us “to sit here and listen” so we can “take the stories” with us when we go. As we listen, as we read, it is impossible to forget these poems, these snapshots into lives like or unlike our own, but all too familiar in our shared story, our shared humanity.—Molly Fuller, author of For Girls Forged By Lightning and Always A Body