Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake

Heidi Lynn Staples


$9 US

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Read a 36-page excerpt (PDF)

“Heidi Staples is one of the most sparkling, indelibly unique writers in English there is. Smart readers should follow her every move, including this quirky offering. She’s a beauty.”

Mary Karr, author of Lit

“Bearer of care, torquer of truth: Heidi Lynn Staples bakes her cake and eats it, too. This experimental memoir bespeaks its eponymous title, again and again, coded and cadenced, so substance suffuses through substitution. War bombs, gardens, twisters, sugary sweets, births and deaths take care fake bear torque cake (cakes, caked, caking) with live-wire illustrations. Call this imaginative personal primer what you will, then Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake.”

Gretchen E. Henderson, author of Galerie de Difformité

“Like Magritte’s The Son of Man, Take Care Fake Bear Torque Cake is a work that unabashedly walks a line between ‘the visible that is hidden and the visible that is present.’ It is a work full of a curious and exhilarating obfuscation that, when a reader is willing to look behind it, reveals an unexpectedly touching and delightful memoir.”

Darby Larson, author of The Iguana Complex

“The book is freaky great. Hard-assed charm, brutal, elegant, funny. This memoir of a dark Florida childhood is unsentimentalized by cartoon drawings (cute and ruthless) and the substitution of one weird reverberating phrase for anything and everything in life. I filled in the not-blanks casually, mad-libbing, but abruptly found myself, mid-story, close to tears. Heidi made a world, and saw that it was take care fake bear torque cake. And so it was.”

Catherine Wagner, author of My New Job

About the Author

Heidi Lynn Staples’s debut collection, Guess Can Gallop, won the 2004 New Issues Poetry Prize. She is also the author of Dog Girl (Ahsahta, 2007) and Noise Event (Ahsahta, 2013), drawn from the ecology of her native Gulf Coast. She is co-founder and co-editor with Amy King of Poets for Living Waters, an international poetry response to the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and founder of pressing on, a book-arts project utilizing “locally thrown” trash.


A chapbook selection of this work was originally published in the eleventh issue of 3rd Bed, 2004. Text © 2012 Heidi Lynn Staples. Cover photograph by John Staples.