Instructions for Killing the Jackal takes its name from a classic conundrum—what to do if you find yourself dating a half-man, half-jackal. The answer is clear: “Say, I’ll take you furless and toothless, // take your gums and the nicks from the razor, / let you bleed on me if you return.” This embrace of violence links many of the poems, and more importantly, asks how we escape. Wright answers with poems teeming with a host of savage crocodiles, preachers, delicate birds, and good common folk. These seemingly contradictory forces are woven together by a masterful lyric voice that creates a world where a girl can become a god as easily as she can skin one. Even pain is merely a conduit for a greater discovery of love, gender, and the perseverance of the human spirit.