“And something is important / about the idea of / a nice girl”
pg. 23, A Kind of Dying
This dark little poetry collection is going on my list of favorites, and I knew that within a few pages of starting it. I’d never read anything else by Jessica Drake-Thomas before, but I’ve been a big fan of CLASH Books for awhile. I got into ‘horror poetry’ a lot more recently than most of the other genres I read, and although this one could also be considered gothic in genre, it’s overall fantastic, so call it what you want and just read it!
A combination of relatable witchy spells to poems from beyond the grave, there’s a little bit here for the spooky girl in us all. The imagery in these poems brings to mind gruesome depictions of different women and their situations, from the characters in famous paintings to true crime victims, and more. The variety to the collection is pretty impressive, and I loved turning each page after reading, eager to see where Jessica would be taking me with her next poem.
“You / held me skewered / by a promise I kept / at my expense.”
pg. 43, Reasons Why I Had That Meltdown Last Fall, Or I Think You Might Be A Narcissist
From ghosts to graveyards, there’s a sort of romantic brutality to be found within the pages of this collection that I couldn’t get enough of. Despite being largely about the the dead or things that go bump in the night, there’s also so much that I found relatable in the author’s words, and I found myself marking pages with little colorful tabs as I went moreso than with some of my other books. Nearly every poem seemed to have a line or sentence that struck a chord with me, and I loved being able to relate these morbid, dark scenarios with things I myself am going through or experiencing, or have experienced in my life at some point.
I think one of the biggest strengths of this collection is its accessibility – this isn’t just for lovers of horror or dark poetry. This is for any woman really who has struggled with a crappy relationship, with a situation she couldn’t control, with a betrayal from a loved one, with an attack on her character. It’s for mothers, daughters, sisters, friends – everyone, anyone! There are a little over 20 poems here, and I found so much to love in so many of them – I have no doubts that other readers will find that this vengeful, macabre collection resonates with them as well.
“I wish I knew – / the secret to being graceful / under enemy fire”
pg. 47, Kindred
One of my favorite parts of this was the notes section at the back of the book, which tells the reader about the different things that inspired the author to write some of the poems in the collection. I thought it was a nice touch to add different informational bits and reference items to add context to poems that stand beautifully on their own, but seem to hold even more power somehow once you see the muses behind them.
BURIALS is out on October 6th, and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Grab a copy and give yourself over to the voices of the women calling from beyond the grave. They’re waiting for you!
You can pre-order this one from CLASH Books’ website here: https://www.clashbooks.com/new-products-2/jessica-drake-thomas-burials-preorder
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