Fever and Bone by Carol Alexander


The poems in Fever and Bone meditate on the bright and bitter moments that make up the human experience of time. Poems written during the first year of the pandemic embody the writer’s awareness of temporality, contagion and mortality—of bodies, the social fabric, and the natural world. These poems, as well as the collection as a whole, reflect on intimate connections between the interior and exterior: there is no sick self apart from an ailing world, no healing apart from a keen recognition of beauty as it flares and entices us, even at the extremity. Fever and Bone is Alexander’s second publication with Dos Madres Press.


  • Kind: Perfectbound
  • Pages: 92
  • Language: English
  • Date Published: January, 2021
  • ISBN: 978-1-953252-17-3


Carol Alexander’s Fever and Bone is a gorgeous, topical, unflinchingly perceptive collection. I’m taken by the poet’s lush and “quenchless” engagement with so much: the natural world in its myriad aspects; art and history; myth and religion; botany, anthropology, and psychology; the body with its hungers, vulnerabilities, and “sympathetic pulse.” Alexander explores the cycles and operations of life, death, and love with considerable complexity. Her poems thereby speak powerfully and wrenchingly to our present moment, often grappling with the coronavirus, “a desperate animal” that “burrowed into my chest.” And these are irrepressibly alive lyrics in which linguistic craft and organic urgency prove integral throughout. Whether scrutinizing landscapes, seasons, paintings, precious fruits, endangered birds, or a loved one in a wheelchair extending a bearded iris named ‘Immortality,’ Alexander writes with vivid accuracy, prompting us to notice: “Doesn’t everything grow rich, / the burrs that cling to the dog’s rough fur / indentured for dispersal, dissuading deer, / yet untouched by blight. / The lustrous lemon air” (“Immortality”). —Stephen Massimilla

Shimmering with acuity, the poems in Carol Alexander’s Fever and Bone lift the curtain of the ordinary to reveal the world’s miraculous workings. The collection, deftly crafted and attentive to the resonant possibilities of language, is an homage to the sanctity of the world, to its delicacy, to the extraordinary power of the everyday to undo us and leave us humbled by our mortality, newly awestruck by the beauty of creation. —Emily McGiffin

Praise for Environments

Carol Alexander’s latest poetry book, Environments, is steeped in our time. It is forthright and often poignant.  With confident voice and consummate skill she illuminates truths that rest, uneasy, at the forefront of our collective consciousness: deforestation, endangered species, wildfires, earthquake, flood, urban decline, hunger, war, genocide, human slavery, plight of refugees—extraordinary violence become ordinary. —Ann Howells


I Almost Loved This

In a more acquisitive time, a chipped jar
from a secondhand shop thrust a beak my way
and at once, I was almost ready to love.
It posed as a receptacle for a Chinese yellow rose
and then again as a spittoon. It made as if to smell
of honey and jam, flirting its fluted lip.
I thumbed a kiss, round and round,
this womanish vessel open, up for anything,
across the world earth cracked like an old face
and hundreds plummeted down. For these,
no case of adjective, only the devouring verb.


CAROL ALEXANDER’s previous books are Environments (Dos Madres Press), Habitat Lost (Cave Moon Press) and Bridal Veil Falls (Flutter Press).  Her work has appeared in a variety of literary journals. Alexander is a writer and editor in the field of educational publishing and has authored fiction and nonfiction books for young readers. She lives with her family in New York City.

Additional information

Weight 6.3 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in