Kristina Marie Darling, signed by author
“The lineage of poetic experimentation with footnotes and other paratexts is long and varied, yet few have explored these formal possibilities with as much intellectual depth and emotional resonance as Kristina Marie Darling. Fortress continues Darling’s investigation into the print page as a kind of interface – leading not only to poetry but to the reader’s understanding of the ways one imaginatively co-creates character, narrative, drama. The “sprawling fields” of the vast white page we find here remind us that poems are places as much as they are language – places that invite us in, guard against us, and sometimes won’t let us go. ‘What does it mean to cross a threshold?’ Darling’s narrator asks. ‘Most nights I would never choose to leave.’ Reading Fortress, one can’t help but agree.” -Andy Frazee, author of The Body, The Rooms “Picking up Kristina Marie Darling’s newest collection is like holding a delicate antique: her work trembles with fragility in its exploration of the ephemeral. This collection carefully juxtaposes love and nostalgia alongside the way we covet mementoes to serve as relics and proofs of the depths of our heart’s capabilities. Readers traverse through scatterings of dead flowers, ruined gardens, and broken jewelry that serve as mirrors to pain and longing. The collection’s masterful use of white space allows for contemplation: a place to ponder what’s shattered, what’s left, and what still has any worth. In the lines of Darling, you’ll find a place to interrogate your deepest wounds, and, in doing so, you may discover them to be ‘synonymous with both beauty and ruination.'” -Anne Champion, author of Reluctant Mistress “In Kristina Marie Darling’s innovative new collection, the distance between our bodies is measured in language. Footnotes become poems, defining absence and commenting on the blankness of the page. Fortress is a meditation on loss: the loss of a marriage and the loss of a life. The fortress our heroine paces through acts as both a prison and a memory palace. It is scattered in fading red poppies and Polaroid photographs. Room after room, we pick up fragments of broken glass and piece them together into something whole and glittering.” -Lily Ladewig, author of The Silhouettes.