This morning, I woke up to find a number of approved galley requests in my inbox. And one of those was this one. I had been anxiously hoping that I would approved to get this galley.
1) Because it’s poetry. Duh.
2) Because the main theme is death and desolation.
3) Iowa Poetry Prize. (Guaranteed good stuff)
Needless to say, I started it right away and finished it within the hour. Then read it two more times to absorb it properly.
Oh boy oh boy. This poetry collection was so my kind of thing. It is something that I would write if I possessed as much talent as Stephanie Pippins. The death and metamorphosis is in your face. There’s not much blood, but I’m willing to excuse that because the poems are so damn good.
The ARC has 35+ poems, all having to do with change, dying, rebirth and bad, bad, things. It must have been a trick of the mind, but I kept thinking black sludge was devouring the words as I swept my eyes over them. There is horror in these poems, not the kind with ghouls and ghosts, but a more natural horror, the kind that you could see happening everyday, if only you observed.
The poems are heavy on nature. Bird references, animal behaviour, and the likes create the perfectly dark setting for what Pippins is trying to say. This book is beautiful in a weird way. It is something that you would want to read over and over and over, only to feel this aching and dread which in turn makes you feel more aware and alive.
Like Pippins says.
“What isn’t dead