The Knowing Animals

Shortlisted for the 2020 New Brunswick Book Award/Fiddlehead Poetry Prize

Short/Longlisted for the 2021 Relit Award for Poetry

Poems that sing, in various notes of female voice, the human being as an embodied, contemplative, feeling animal.

In Skov-Nielsen’s thrumming debut, The Knowing Animals, our consciousness is interconnected with the surrounding trees, bugs, rivers, atmospheres, and cosmos. Here, flowers escape Victorian domestication and ally with girls’ green powers of attraction. Here, the social politeness of motherly domesticity and the raw dangers of adolescent sexual awakening are shot through with blood pulsing under the skin, with oxygen exchanged in gasps of breath. Here, everything tender and petalling is also raw and mothervisceral.

This is a book of entanglements: the poems twist and turn through a plurality of metaphorical associations involving botany, zoology, astronomy, biology, psychology, and mythology to complicate and expand human conceptions of nature. At the same time, they explore themes such as motherhood, pregnancy and birth, sexuality, adolescence, and the rise of technology, all the while shifting through a variety of tones: romantic, mythological, religious, scientific, wistful, and playful.


Emily Skov-Nielsen

Emily Skov-Nielsen is an MA graduate from UNB’s English/Creative program. Her poems have been published (and longlisted in several contests) in journals across Canada including The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, The Puritan, CV2, Prairie Fire, and Prism International. She is the author of Volta (Anstruther Press 2017). She currently works for The Fiddlehead, Atlantic Canada’s International Literary Journal. In the past she worked for several years at a bookstore, was an Adult Education Instructor, and has dabbled in social work. She currently lives and writes in Fredericton, NB.
Chapter Title Contents Contributors Pages Year Price


Menstromania – Visitation – Waking – Sea Fever – The Morning After – Lying-In – Night Feed – Orbital – Driving Home – Vernal Equinox – … 17 $1.70


Naturecultures – Cryptozoology – Photophobic – coded – Mother Earth – Solstice – After Reading a Poem by Rachel Rose – Unblood my instinct, love 12 $1.20


Party – Circus – Teenage – Amanita Muscaria – Teenage, Take Two – Volta – Gutter Punk/Mycologist/Muse – Lucida – New Day of Girls 14 $1.40


The mind in morning – Portrait of the Poet as a Squirrel – That is the whole – Subcurrent – REM – Emily & Alden – Riddle – Antics – Cross-Country 11 $1.10


Going Out – Painting Suburbia – Glimpse of the Hook – Deception – Contact – Worms and Fish – Love Poem – Pillow Talk – Epiphany – Home Alone, … 14 $1.40


Wind Shear – Afterlight – A Rabbit as Queen of the Moon – Art! – Thinking in Texture – Anxiety – Distemper – Dementia – Hospital of the Absurd … 15 $1.50