cover image Beasts for the Chase

Beasts for the Chase

Monica Ferrell, . . Sarabande, $14.95 (89pp) ISBN 978-1-932511-65-9

In her debut poetry collection, published on the heels of her debut novel, The Answer Is Always Yes , Ferrell fills richly textured lines with a cast of personas inhabiting a vague space between waking and dreaming; as these speakers undergo metamorphoses—from human to animal, girl to woman, powerful to powerless—they persistently ask, “Who was she?” Ferrell’s voice mixes mythic and contemporary, classical and hip, weaving a tapestry of mini-epics in an odyssey from the Garden of Eden to Alphabet City, with pit-stops in Babylon, Oslo and the isle of Capri. In one poem we meet “a shepherd asleep on a mirror in a mountain”; another offers the plainly magical fact, “Once I met the doctor who delivered me.” While her tone can at times feel heavy-handed, the diligence with which Ferrell pursues the project of blurring the line between myth and history in the service of illuminating life’s everyday transformations demands, and benefits from, repeated readings. This is an impressive first effort by a fresh, original and promising new voice wholeheartedly committed to her craft. (Oct.)