I knew going into this collection that I’d be stepping outside my “comfort level”. This is the case with most of Block’s work, for me. Though, at this point, I think I’m getting comfortable with Block’s unconventional style of writing.
Block was able to hook me in with what normally irks me with poetry. There is no punctuation throughout the collection, and there’s a very scarce use of capitalization. Having read Psyche in a Dress recently, I was somewhat ready for the lack of punctuation. Not having capital letters anywhere in the poems took some getting used to. These two things normally help a reader find some flow or pattern to the lines. Despite this, I easily found my way into each poem and enjoyed them all.
There are recurring themes of motherhood and various aspects of love and relationships throughout the collection. Each mention brought me, as a reader, deeper into the speaker’s life and the emotions she felt during each event recollected. Block’s use of language, incorporation of myths and magical imagery created beautiful lines of poetry that I’d enjoy reading many times over. I only hope that Block releases more poetry because I’d love more.
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About the Author:
Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles to a poet and a painter, their creativity an obvious influence on her writing. Another influence was her childhood love of Greek mythology and fairy tales.
She has lived in the city all her life, and still resides there with her daughter, Jasmine Angelina (about whom she wrote her book Guarding the Moon), her son Samuel Alexander, and her two dogs: a springer spaniel named Vincent Van Go Go Boots and a beagle mix named Thumper.
She left only to attend the University of California, Berkeley. She has often professed her love of Los Angeles, calling it a “Jasmine-scented, jacaranda-purple, neon sparked city,” which she has nicknamed in her books “Shangri-LA.”
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