Sheila McMullin: A Poetic Feminist MoonSpit Blog

MoonSpit Poetry of Insights, Resources, Activism, and Art

daughterrarium reviewed!

In April 2017 my first book of poetry was officially released! Since then I have been honored with thoughtful and provocative responses to the collection. Even Small Press Distribution recommended daughterrarium in their June SPD Recommends newsletter!

Check out what these glorious reviewers had to say and these ways to get your own copy ♥

KATIE HIBNER writes for Galatea Resurrects

She trusts the reader enough to divulge her feelings, but also doubts their confidence in her, an extension of her society-imposed inferiority complex. By the end of the collection, however, the speaker gains self-esteem, and the implicit dialogue of the “Firelight Meditation” series involves the reader in her gradual transformation….

Terrariums confine predators such as snakes and lizards, suppressing their instinctual fierceness. In the span of daughterrarium, however, the speaker augments and refines her aggression. Decay and a myriad of oppressive voices riddle her habitat, but when the speaker and the reader emerge from this “walk through the valley of the shadow of death,” both are much, much stronger.

XAN SCHWARTZ writes for Heavy Feather Review

Amidst the experimental, we also encounter resounding moments of reprieve. The collection is peppered by short, italicized, untitled poems that speak more directly to the reader than the more formal poems do; it feels as though they come from the poet’s subconscious. Within these poems, we are introduced to images that later reenter the collection to remind us of the import of signs and symbols: firelight ranunculus, orange poppies, chicken skin, a King of May, God’s hand over our belly over the earth.

The personal content of the collection is no less absorbing. McMullin give glimpses into the speaker’s trauma without flinching or becoming sentimental. The poet covers issues of sexual abuse, cancer, isolation from family, dissociation from the body, and more; she writes, “Being unprepared meant handing over her body, / but seeing as it’s still attached to me / I can’t let go.” But the poet’s relationship with trauma is that of fierce and persistent acceptance rather than bitter resignation.

MATT SUTHERLAND writes for Foreword Reviews

No, we won’t find much comfort here, or words pretty for pretty’s sake. Sheila McMullin scores the flesh of her observations and sears them with ponderous, mostly unanswerable questions about pain and anger, consequences, finality.

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This entry was posted on August 2, 2017 by in Book Review, Books, daughterrarium, Projects and tagged , .

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© 2017 Sheila McMullin

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