For to See the Elephant:

a novel in verse

YA historical fiction / poetry

In the autumn of 1795 on board a ship from Salem, Massachusetts an enslaved boy named William finds himself tasked with caring for the first elephant to be brought to America. Upon arrival in the city of New York, he and the elephant are sold together. They walk back and forth across the growing country for years so that everyone may see the elephant. A second elephant and owner replace the first and again William is with the elephant every hour of every day, until she too dies. Now a grown man, William has a fleeting moment to decide if he will remain in bondage or walk off on his own. (Piscataqua Press, 2019)

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About Tammi

Tammi Truax has worked as a teacher in a variety of settings from preschool to prison, always with an emphasis on literacy. She completed graduate work in Italy and the US earning a MEd in library media studies. Truax has lived and worked throughout New England and Germany. In 2008, with New Hampshire poet Kyle Potvin, Tammi founded the non-profit The Prickly Pear Poetry Project to share the healing power of poetry for people whose lives have been impacted by cancer. She is the editor of The Poet’s Tale; Lady Wentworth (illustrated) by Henry W. Longfellow (Bookbaby, 2013), and released her debut novel Broken Buckets as an eBook the same year. Her poetry has appeared in eleven anthologies, including The Widows’ Handbook: Poetic Reflections on Grief and Survival, edited by J. Lapidus and L. Menn, with a foreword by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Kent State University Press, 2014). A young adult novel in verse, For to See the Elephants, was released May 2019, and books are forthcoming from Local Gems Press and Hobblebush Books. She has a short story in an anthology called Compass Points (Piscataqua Press, 2015) and another in The Mud Chronicles: A New England Anthology (Monadnock Writer’s Group, 2018). Her work can be found in several journals, newspapers, magazines, and online, including The Huffington Post. She was a columnist at The Portsmouth Herald for ten years. In 2014 she was the first winner of The Provenance Prize 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 at Georgia O’Keefe’s ranch in New Mexico. In 2015 and 2016 Tammi was awarded the Buffler Poetry Residency at Portsmouth (NH) High School. She was also chosen in 2015 to attend Vermont’s When Words Count writing retreat. The Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance awarded her a scholarship to attend the 2016 Slice Literary Writers’ Conference in NYC, and she was selected in 2017 to attend The Tin House summer workshop and The Salty Quill Writers Retreat for Women. Tammi is a member of many writing and historical associations. She is serving as the Maine Beat Poet Laureate for 2018-2020 and the Portsmouth (NH) Poet Laureate for 2019-2021. Tammi works with kids in grades K to 5, as a Sankofa Scholar for the NH Black Heritage Trail, as a literacy program facilitator for the NH Humanities Council, and is completing a two-book historical novel for adults.


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