How To Live: A Suggestive Guide
Elizabeth Hellstern’s collection of experimental poems acts as an alternative How-To Book, told with graphic flow charts and coupled with poetic language and philosophy. Both insightful and formally inventive, the pieces offer the readers a sense of agency as they choose their way through complex activities such as "How to Make Friends," "How to Use a Power Tool," and "How to Have a Good Idea." Several of the pieces were written specifically in response to Hellstern's experience building off-grid in the New Mexico high mountain desert, her struggle making new friends, dealing with adult issues like family, loss and trying to save the world. One flow chart speaks about how to make a difficult phone call while another addresses How to be a Woman or How to Be a Man. With comedy and truth, "How to Live: A Suggestive Guide" draws a parallel between handling the 3-dimensional physical world while navigating the complicated and modern emotional world. Throughout these experimental poems, Hellstern provides a personal, yet universal journey that the reader can walk alongside her.
Cover art by Karina Swenson
Published by Tolsun Books