Magic, naturally.

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It’s nearly the end of  National Poetry Month and today is World Book Day (yay!). Though I haven’t been a strong presence in my actual poetry community, I am trying to remain present in the online community.  I have been writing daily, and reading as much as time permits with my busy work-mom-life schedule.

So it is fitting that I am reviewing another poetry collection.  And I am over the moon excited about getting to do so!  This time, MAGIC WITH SKIN ON by Morgan Nikola-Wren is my latest dessert for poetry this month.

Decadent, a bit gothic, and filled with delectable moments of urban fantasy, Morgan’s writing atmosphere is complete and propels the story.  There is a whole world involved in the character’s need to make sense of and control the whimsy of her absent muse.  A tale told in seven acts, readers will devour it in less than two hours.

More than once, I was reminded of my favorite Lilith Saintcrow (fiction) series– Working for the Devil — the dark hues, the temptation the muse (or fallen angel), and the heroine’s quest to remember herself.  It is gritty and wonderful.  I highly recommend it for a fantasy escape into a chewy world in which the heroine finds enormous agency in a sea of doubt.  She magics herself into completeness; threads the muse into her body. They become one as she powers forward into a world of word-bliss.

I have always been a fan of genre crossing and mixed forms of art.  This collection is like that — it can be read as a collection of stand alone poems, but it is really a complete story. It drives the reader all the way to the end.  When I read poetry collections, it is common for me to jump around and bop in and out of place with the poet.  Here, I was bound to stay on track and read through.  But at the end of the journey, I find that reading it backwards also has its pleasures.

So many of Morgan’s lines are bite-sized and perfect.  The toothy-ness of her story is worthy of adorning coffee houses, and home-offices for writers and others to draw inspiration.  My own wall beyond the computer screen now boasts this, my favorite line, “tonight,/i say we host/a dinner party for our demons” .   Yes, let’s.  They have been eating me alive for years, but I never thought, perhaps if I invited them to dinner, we could be friends.

Morgan’s collection gleams with the kind of magic that heals our (very) human, messy lives.  A fitting read for our time/s.  Brava!

 

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