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    Childproof Sky

    By Trapper Markelz


    A Cherry Dress Chapbooks 2023 selection

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    About the Book


    Trapper Markelz (he/him) writes from Arlington, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in the journals Baltimore Review, Stillwater Review, Bangalore Review, Wild Roof Journal, Greensboro Review, High Shelf Press, Dillydoun Review, Passengers Journal, and many others.


    Childproof Sky is a 22-poem, 31-page chapbook about the loss of a daughter from SIDS in 2009 captured from the perspective of a father and husband. The poems span 13 years and touch on moments of loss, sadness, resilience, love, and hope.


    Childproof Sky was selected for publication by Cherry Dress Chapbooks & Marginalia Publishing, in 2023.

  • Book Blurbs

    "Childproof Sky, Trapper Markelz’ debut poetry collection, is a tender, poignant, and unflinching chronicle of the unthinkable—the death of a child from SIDS. Skillfully crafted, these poems orbit the ever-changing planet called grief with a haunting voice, startling imagery, and lyrical mastery. Ever aware of what is real, “like where her neck meets her shoulder, / or how these things / just happen to people,” yet receptive of the speaker’s subconscious leaving him “on the edge— / off belay.” Markelz offers his readers a “small heatwave into the sky, / a vapor path” into the galaxy of moving forward even when “there is no prevailing” and triumphantly declares the important truth that “we can persevere / this joyous existence.”
    - Candice M. Kelsey, author of Choose Your Own Poem and Puzzling Things: Essays

    "Childproof Sky is a book of contradictions. Markelz has written a collection where love and grief, presence and absence mingle. Childproof Sky is a parent’s cri de cœur that is at once heartbreaking and beautiful. It rewards those who read it more than once; as the first lines of the book remind us, “it’s important to have a place / you go to again and again.”
    -Jordi Alonso, author of Honeyvoiced and The Lovers’ Phrasebook

    "Trapper Markelz's poetry is raw, real and truly beautiful —each one an evocative journey from start to finish. Childproof Sky delicately weaves themes of love and loss into powerful, vivid poems that stay with the reader." - Eugénie Olson, author of Babe in Toyland, The Pajama Game, and Love in the Time of Tafetta

  • Published Poems

    Here are some poems from Childproof Sky previously published in literary journals

    Published June 2022

    Childproof Sky is available in print issue 45.2 of The Journal

    Published May 2022

    You Will Need Foor For The Journey was available in Issue XXXIII of High Shelf Press. Watch a reading of the poem.

    Published August 2021

    Read more work by Trapper Markelz at https://trappermarkelz.medium.com

  • Recorded Readings

    A selection of video poem readings from the book

  • Cherry Dress Chapbooks Author Reading

    On August 19th, 2023, I did a reading with the other Cherry Dress Authors. I shared three poems from Childproof Sky. You can watch the twelve-minute reading here.

    You Will Need Food for the Journey

    A reading I posted of the poem You Will Need Food for the Journey

    Childproof Sky

    A reading of the title poem Childproof Sky, a sestina.