What Space This Body
poems by J.C. Todd


  Wild River Review
  Philadelphia Stories

What Space This Body
may be purchased from your local bookstore, from on-line vendors such as Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher.

What Space This Body
103 pages.  $15.00
ISBN 978-1-893239-73-9 

Wind Publications
600 Overbrook Dr
Nicholasville, KY 40356

J.C. Todd is the author of Nightshade and Entering Pisces, chapbooks published by Pine Press. Her awards include a Fellowship in Poetry from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, two Leeway Foundation grants, and a fellowship to Kunstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has an M.F.A. from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and teaches creative writing at Bryn Mawr College. 

"Here is the sacred body Whitman celebrated, but taken to a deeper intimacy in both sensual and scientific knowing. J.C. Todd can relish unblushingly the most interior matters of the body, make language exude sensuality and a myriad of rich scents, while keeping her head. So be prepared for a rare combination of daring material and meticulous intellect in these poems of arousal and awareness, and, above all, praise." 
      --- Eleanor Wilner

"In her memorable book, What Space This Body, J.C. Todd writes with deep feeling about the bonds between people, the oneness of marriage partners, and the ties between herself and natural things. She achieves a rare distinction in "Standing in a Winter Field Gazing at a Photograph of Ice" and "On the Beach," two poems in which she meditates on her own growth and on the world's mysteries. Her poems are striking for a calm but passionate tone, musical lines, elegance, and, especially, humanity."
      --- Grace Schulman

"Something of the verbal sass and sheer intelligence of Heather McHugh; something of the bodily fascination of Sharon Olds; something of the natural reverence of Mary Oliver, and the natural exuberance of Amy Clampitt; something of the philosophical ruthlessness of Louise Gluck, and yet something altogether her own. An adored husband, a sister lost in infancy, and always the body, measuring itself against nature and against time, with eloquence and without hubris: these are the songs of "that small piece of gristle / I sing with," the remarkable poems of J.C. Todd." 
      --- Karl Kirchwey

Read "Full and Empty: The Contradiction of Translation" by J.C. Todd in Wild River Review

Listen to J.C. Todd reading her poems at the Princeton Public Library.


From What Space This Body --

That Night and After

He crept in next to me, I suppose
for heat, for the sure pulse
of a heart that beats without a skip,
the steady puff of faintly sour breath
from milk before bed
that scents a child's room.

The porch light tinged the window
amber. Organdy filtered its gleam
to the dim tint of a star
so distant it was lost
in the wash of the Milky Way
like the seventh of the Pleiades

the unassisted eye can’t see.
Night brushed the sheets,
cool against my sun-flushed cheek.
Voice low, an animal nuzzle or murmur,
he settled me, his living daughter,
Go to sleep, then turned his back.

I tuned my breaths to his--slow, deep,
held in his umber air, its grief.
Mother had come home without
a sister bundled at her shoulder.
Late at night, long past summer,
I kept waking to his rustle.