Mississippi poet laureate and author

Heating & Cooling


Want to read Heating & Cooling with your book club or classroom?  Check out Norton's reading group guide:

Want to learn more about micro-memoirs?  Here's an article Beth Ann wrote discussing the form:

And here's a short essay for Brevity that contains Beth Ann's musings on the line versus the sentence: 

Here's a "Conversations" interview Beth Ann did with Marshall Ramsay

Interested in having Beth Ann lead a workshop on micro-memoirs?  Contact Alison Granucci of Blue Flower Arts, alison@blueflowerarts.com.

Heating & Cooling  by Beth Ann Fennelly

Heating & Cooling by Beth Ann Fennelly

Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs is Beth Ann’s sixth book

From the publisher: The 52 micro-memoirs in genre-defying Heating & Cooling offer bright glimpses into a richly lived life, combining the compression of poetry with the truth-telling of nonfiction into one heartfelt, celebratory book. Ranging from childhood recollections to quirky cultural observations, these micro-memoirs build on one another to arrive at a portrait of Fennelly as a wife, mother, writer, and deeply original observer of life’s challenges and joys. Some pieces are wistful, some wry, and many reveal the humor buried in our everyday interactions.  Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs shapes a life from unexpectedly illuminating moments, and awakens us to these moments as they appear in the margins of our lives.


Praise for Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs

These pieces . . . showcase Fennelly’s signature freshness and candor. If you’re a fan of Beth Ann Fennelly’s previous books of poetry, which had many poems bordering the hybrid edge of prose, you will be a fan of this book of “mini-memoirs.” And if you’re not a poetry fan, but a memoir fan? Heating & Cooling will work for you, too. Whether you read it as poetry or memoir, this collection will invite you into the delicate balance between the challenging, sometimes squalid, human condition and the beauty and sadness of the transcendent
— The Rumpus
An author of bold perception, powerful femininity, and candid vulnerability. This deceptively slim, convention-defying collection delivers surprisingly generous rewards.
— Booklist
Consistently entertaining. . . poised, eloquent, and full of moments of tenderness.
— Electric Literature
Imagine the hundred things you enjoy doing most in the world. Reading Beth Ann Fennelly’s Heating & Cooling is more fun than 95 of them.
A poet and fiction writer delivers 52 ‘micro-memoirs’—some just one sentence, some a couple of pages—that offer insight into her life, the lives of loved ones, and the overall human condition. . . .Although the concept and structure of the book are experimental, on the whole, the writing is more straightforward, lucidly composed, and often highly evocative. A sleek, delightful collection.
— Kirkus
Fennelly packs a lot into each short piece, with some lighter in subject matter and others with a sudden punch-in-the-gut feel, weighted with existential exploration. Potent despite their brevity.
— Library Journal, (starred review). Listed as one of four “Autumn Memoir Picks.”
Varying in length from a single sentence to several pages, the essays in [Heating and Cooling] are told with wry self-awareness and compassion; each piece illuminates how the manners and minutiae of everyday life . . . are underpinned by deep-rooted human needs and beliefs.
— Poets & Writers
“The 52 micro-memoirs in genre-defying Heating & Cooling offer bright glimpses into a richly lived life, combining the oppression of poetry with the truth-telling of nonfiction into one heartfelt, celebratory book.
— Deep South Magazine
What better can one writer say about another writer’s work? I wish I’d written it. Heating and Cooling is just that enviable.
Strong and at the same time wonderfully vulnerable. There is a matter of fact revelation inherent in her work. I deeply enjoyed this book—deeply.
The pieces look like jewels—finely wrought, lyric and subtle—but they expose themselves as creatures: vital, writhing, surprising, alive. They’re funny as hell. They’ve got a cool wit, but they’re feverish to the touch. They’ve been living inside me ever since I read them, heating and cooling me.
Beth Ann Fennelly brings a poet’s sensibility to Heating & Cooling. Each entry is both insightful and precise, a perfect pearl of memory. By marking out these 52 moments, she draws a portrait of a life that is deeply felt and fully awake. I will be the first in line when there are 52 more.

Heating & Cooling is available for order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Better yet, please order it from your local Indie Bound bookstore:

Or mine:

Care for a signed or personalized copy?  If you’re not in a big rush, I’m happy to swing by and scribble in it.  Leave instructions at Square Books when you place your order, (662)-236-2262.