Friday, September 2, 2022

Cassie Recommends Four Poetry Works

👀 Cassie has four poetry recommendations for you today! 

Strange Nests by Jessica McHugh

"...the secret of dying arrived scrawny. it's growing stronger & fatter though & whispers, “go mad.”

Beyond ancient gates, among thorny overgrowth and carnivorous blooms, a raven called Death waits tirelessly for its chance to roost within us. Using scraps of love, remorse, anger, and pain, it weaves. With erasure, memory, and discovery, it binds. And from the garden of wounds that grows within our broken hearts, it builds Strange Nests.

In the follow-up to her Bram Stoker and Elgin Award nominated collection, A Complex Accident of Life, Jessica McHugh uses poetry, design, and illustration to unearth the horrific, consumptive, and transformative nature of grief from the pages of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic, The Secret Garden"

Amazon | Goodreads | Bookshop

Cassie's Review

This is my second collection of blackout poetry by Jessica McHugh, and I am officially OBSESSED with her work - not that I wasn't already, but gosh. It's so cool seeing the things that stand out to the author on each page, and seeing the way they arrange and form the words to create a cohesive whole that has its own meaning & message. I honestly can't get enough, and will be buying & reading every single collection - or book - she puts out moving forward. Don't miss this one!!

Monstrum Poetica poetry by Jezzy Wolfe

"When was the last time you walked through the woods? Checked under your bed? Walked down into your basement alone? Monstrum Poetica by Jezzy Wolfe is an invocation of boogeymen, a graveyard seance, a summons to horrors both large and small. This is a collection of poems that bite, scratch, snarl, and bleed. Filled with magnificent beasts and the sounds of cracked bones and broken teeth, Wolfe takes her readers through the folklore and mythology behind some of the world's most terrifying creatures.

Here you'll meet jinn, vampires, werewolves, and wendigos, tangle with mermaids, wraiths, aswang and hellhounds. It's a dance of specters and spiders, a logbook of limbs and lost persons. If you're lucky, you'll learn what to do when the lights flicker, when the lightbulb goes out, when darkness becomes your only friend, and the next time you hear a whisper, or feel the hot breath of fear on your neck, you'll remember what do, where to go...

Because this is a book that teaches you how to hunt monsters, how to track fiends, how to bathe in the blood and digestive juices all of things that go bump in the night. Carry this manual with you. Hold it close, memorize its contents for these poems are warnings, a resounding alarm. I suggest you head them. They might just save your life. "

Amazon Goodreads | Bookshop

Cassie's Review

RDSP is absolutely KILLING IT with their poetry books, honestly. I've read quite a few of them so far, and am always just blown away - and MONSTRUM POETICA is no different!

This was so cool because it's a collection of actual monsters throughout cultures and history. There's a little tidbit about each one, the legends and things that are told about them and where they originated - and then some poetry to go along with it inspired by the things you just learned (or may already know). So unique and so fun, I think this is perfect for not just fans of dark poetry, but of creatures & cryptids & things that go bump in the night in general!

Every Poem A Potion, Every Song A Spell by Stephanie Parent

"In Every Poem A Potion, Every Song A Spell, Stephanie Parent navigates grief and despair through poetry inspired by childhood fairytales. Each poem is a lens providing insight through a woman's internal struggle with identity and perseverance through adversity, the fight it takes to overcome despair, the strength of independence, and the hope that lingers, even still, despite it all. These poems invite the reader to pause and reflect on the fairytales we thought we knew as a child and to draw our gaze inward, searching for our own answers, our own truths, in this world we have come to abide.

-Lindsey Heatherly, author of GOLDEN HOUR MINUS THE GLOW (2021) "

Amazon | Goodreads | Bookshop

Cassie's Review

I just love dark poetry *SO MUCH*, wow. Especially when the darkness is woven together with fairytales! This was such a unique collection - I've read lots of collections with a sort of similar theme of magic or fantasy or fairytales, but none done quite like this. I love the focus on tales from all corners of the world -- there were some I hadn't heard of before and I really enjoy books that help me learn something new or make me want to research something outside of reading, which this definitely did!

The poems in this were beautiful - I had several marked with 5 stars, and didn't give anything below 4 overall throughout. Sometimes collections by even folks I really adore the writing from can contain a couple misses, so to have such a solid collection here was a great way to spend my reading time!

I read this digitally but will be buying a physical copy so I can highlight all the bits I liked best - and such a cool cover! Definitely gonna be a great addition to my poetry shelf.

Field Guide to Invasive Species of Minnesota poems by Amelia Gorman

"Gorman's Field Guide to Invasive Species Minnesota is a poetic journey into the strange and wonderful world known previously only to the wild. Take a walk through the woods of Minnesota, past the Salton Sea, into the high grass of the prairie, beyond the rivers and creekbeds, into a world of the near-future where nature rules all. After all, the biggest ecological danger of invasive species is the monoculture they create."

Amazon | Goodreads | Bookshop

Cassie's Review

Okay, so look: I'll be the first to admit I don't know a dang thing about nature, nor do I specifically know a dang thing about nature in Minnesota. Does that mean that a couple of these plant references went over my head, maybe? Sure. Does that mean I enjoyed the collection any less? Nope!

The writing in this was so pretty, which is probably a weird way to describe a collection that seems to mostly metaphorically (and sometimes literally?) be about destruction & nature taking over the world - but it is what it is; gorgeously written, and perfect for an afternoon read in the sun.

Thank you for joining us today! Please share your thoughts about any or all of these works of poetry as well as any recent reads in the comments below.

We are currently accepting horror fiction and horror adjacent fiction written by diverse authors in print and epub format ONLY. If this is you, please visit our review submission page here.

Cassie is one of our contributing reviewers and contributes website content. Find her online at her website, Twitter as @ctrlaltcassie, Instagram as @readinginaprism, or over at her Etsy store, where she has amazing original art prints, cross stitch kits, bookmarks, and more!

No comments:

Post a Comment