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By the end of Kept Women, Durbin successfully changes the viewing activity of reality-as-entertainment into an active reading of trauma, or post-trauma. Readers become increasingly self-aware as the speaker’s emotional detachment from the scenes feels tensely at odds with the negated inhabitants. The women’s physical bodies are acutely absent from the poems, as if the speaker is treating a fresh crime scene like a museum tour.
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A dark, multivalent, genre-bending book.... Composed with unrelenting, grotesque beauty.... Exhaustive recursive obsession about the unburiability of the dead, and the incomprehensibility of death.
—Publishers Weekly Starred Review & PW's "Best Summer Reads"
Donato makes and unmakes the world with words, and what is left shimmers with pain and delight.
So riveting, so fiercely imagined, so febrile and alive to the violence of our moment, so passionate — its images unbidden, its narrative a continual surprise.... I was compelled to read it, at times against my will, mesmerized, enthralled.
Salamandrine: 8 Gothics
He who shrinks from the flames will never command Salamanders.
—Arthur Edward Waite
One would not make love to a Salamandrine during a sandstorm.
A radical somatics, procedural anatomic work, queer narrativity....
—Erica KaufmanWelcome to david wolach’s beautiful corrosion.
—Fred MotenDocuments the soft rebellion of staying alive.
—Frank SherlockHolds the space of the clinic we don’t yet have, the dark we need.