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  • This Bright Darkness

    Sarah McKinstry-Brown

    With heartbreaking insight, Sarah McKinstry-Brown tells of Demeter and Persephone as the story of a mother who has lost her daughter to male violence. These plainspoken, elegant poems give voice to tomboys, girls coming into their sexual power, their mothers and grandmothers, newscasters unspooling the latest version of the “gone girl” narrative, pregnant women, mothers who miscarry, and flowers who give advice. In crystalline verse, McKinstry-Brown shows us girls like “peonies/ hanging their heads under the weight/ of their own blossoming,” and women who learn that “the heart becomes offal/ when a mother is told over and over/ that her daughter is just another/ siren.” This Bright Darkness is the meditation and the medicine we need as we confront male violence in our current moment.

    —Lisa L. Moore, Archibald A. Hill Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

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