“In Which the River Makes Off with Three Stationary Characters” begins with the 17th-century pope who “adjudged beavers to be fish.” Caterpillars, we discover in “You Are Going to Fly,” “have only six real legs — the rest are fake: mere stumps to keep their hind parts from dragging and getting scuffed.”
In “Talent,” we learn that “the reason penguins don’t place their egg at an easier distance from the sea is that their continent has meltable edges.” Also, “sometimes penguin males accidentally incubate stones instead of eggs, so that after nine weeks they have no chick. No infant penguin can peck its way out of a stone.”
Novelist Julian Gough, writing in The Guardian, notes that Things That Are “could happily be filed under fiction, non-fiction, poetry, philosophy or science. Concerned as it is with the natural world and the oneness of the universe, it collapses categories.”
In addition to Things That Are, Leach’s work has been published in A Public Space, Tin House, Orion and the Los Angeles Review, among others. She has been recognized with the Whiting Writers’ Award, Best American Essays selections, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Pushcart Prize. She plays bluegrass, teaches English and lives in Montana.