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Portsmouth poet to release historical novel

  • For to See the Elephant —Courtesy

Published: 5/17/2019 1:39:01 PM
Modified: 5/17/2019 1:38:47 PM

Author and UNH graduate, Tammi Truax’s latest novel, For to See the Elephant, tells the story of an enslaved boy tasked with caring for the first elephant brought to America.

Upon arrival in the city of New York, he and the elephant are sold together, and spend decades walking through the country until the day they can be together no longer.

Truax realistically portrays the realities of a boy growing up in slavery and in the lives of elephants forced to live away from their herd and home.

The novel, based on real events, is told in a series of poems and incorporates songs, news clippings and diary entries from the period. Much of the story is set in Maine and New Hampshire. It is a soulful and surprising portrait of early America and the origins of the American circus.

Published by Piscataqua Press, the book was released on April 26. For to See the Elephant is a great read for mature children and adults.

Truax works with young readers and writers at a Portsmouth elementary school and as a Connections program facilitator for the N.H. Humanities Council teaching new adult readers. She was editor of a new release of Lady Wentworth; A Poet’s Tale by Henry Longfellow (Bookbaby, 2013), and released her debut novel Broken Buckets, as an ebook the same year. She is a published poet in 10 anthologies, including The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival, with a foreword by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and has short stories in Compass Points (Piscataqua Press, 2015) and in The Mud Chronicles (Monadnock Writers’ Group, 2018).

Another volume of her poetry is due out from Local Gems Press later this year. She has received awards for creative short fiction, and in 2013 and 2015 was selected to be one of the writers at A Room of Her Own Foundation’s retreat for women writers at Georgia O’Keefe’s ranch in New Mexico.

Truax currently resides in Eliot, Maine, and is serving as the Portsmouth Poet Laureate and the Maine Beat Poet Laureate.

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