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When Justine Chan worked as a park ranger at Zion National Park, she chose to retell a Southern Paiute folktale for her weekly evening program on coyotes. The more that long, hot summer unfolded, the more time she spent alone in the desert, the more she retold the story, the more the story became her life. And in that space, she began to write.


Should You Lose All Reason(s) is unafraid of looking hard– back, down, towards, around, forward, at the stories we tell, at herself, at the desert, at the sun, at everything. In conversation with the Southern Paiute folktale, she weaves together a triptych of poems, poems both always on the move and stuck, in exile, in wilderness. Drawing from her experiences serving in AmeriCorps, working as a park ranger, and traveling across the United States, she explores race, loneliness, stories, hauntings, family, landscapes and cityscapes, climate change, survival, music, resilience, the West, and America itself.


At times scorching, at times brimming with awe and desire, this debut book of poems resonates with a brilliant new voice.

Should You Lose All Reason(s) by Justine Chan

  • ISBN: 9781634050456

    Publication Date: 04/11/2023

    Pages: 108

    Size: 9(w) x 6(h) x 0.5 in

    Type: Paperback

    Language: English

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