Through a sequence of poems, Fabulous Beast: The Sow is the story of a creature who shifts between the animal world and the human world. It is through her shifting that the sow negotiates a kind of peace: between the part of her that takes instinctively to motherhood and the part of her that feels unnatural in her new role.
“A gorgeous and sometimes unsettling look at love and motherhood through the eyes of a sow.”
– Margaret Bashaar, author of Stationed Near the Gateway
“Sarah Kain Gutowski has written a criticism of the flesh and the contracts and vows it makes, and needs, to keep itself, its children and its kind alive, but Fabulous Beast is also a celebration of the spirit, its many transformations and desires. Ultimately, spirit and flesh marry in the sow—who gives life, who loves, who teaches her piglets, her boar and us to commit ourselves ‘to the whirligig earth/ not by the fact of [our] flesh and bone, but by choice.’ No wisdom could be more affirmative or useful.”
– Adam Penna, author of Little Songs & Lyrics to Genji
"Here, in the language of the final poem, even as the mother assumes human shape and cares for a human child, a son, she remains in “this other female’s” body. The mother is not a woman who was briefly transformed into a sow. The mother is the sow who occasionally becomes human. How long will she be locked in a strange new skin? Forever, Gutowski suggests. Mothering is forever, and the mists that shroud it are inescapable."
-- Sarah B. Boyle, author of What's pink and shiny/what's dark and hard
“Fabulous Beast: The Sow, simultaneously harrowing and thrilling, moves us into uniquely imaginative and perceptive poetic territory. Sarah Kain Gutowski’s ability to vividly reveal the malaise and heaviness of the Western female experience forces us to rethink typical gender roles, and the way such roles entrap and enslave our own mothers, our own wives, our children. She exposes our societal treatment of women as insanity-inducing. But she guides us to these stunning revelations with such subtlety and grace, encouraging us to rise from the sty of our making, and bolt, free forever, into that dangerous, beautiful, and waiting world.”
-- Paul David Adkins, author of La Dona, La Llorona
Copyright © Sarah Kain Gutowski 2019
Last updated: February 2019