Thursday, September 11, 2014

Amazing Stories - Poetry Review - Wolf Skin by Mary McMyne

I have a new review up on Amazing Stories - a wonderful chapbook by Mary McMyne: Wolf Skin. I really enjoyed this little volume, I hope it comes through in the review (which comes complete with 3 poems read, in their entirety by moi). Here's a snippet:

I don’t know how long it’s been going on, but a lot of Alternate Fairy Tales come into my To-Read-and-Review Inbox. (I know I said that about Horror Poetry too, but it’s true, these are the two main sub-genres I receive, and sadly, little actual Science Fiction Poetry.) Like most people, I’m familiar with most Fairy Tales in a basic way, but unlike many people in the writing biz I didn’t grow up with an intimate love of them borne of the possession of some beloved volume. Additionally, I believe I basically grew up knowing merely the Disney Versions! Oh, the horror! The poor deprived soul! (I can just hear you now!) I know. But as an adult I have indeed remedied that by reading much of the Brothers’ Grimm (in German) as well as others, albeit less systematically, and have perhaps delighted more in the alternate versions by modern writers as a result. Would I like these twisted fairy tales at all if I had a beloved “original” version that I’d known from childhood? And no, Disney doesn’t count, because while I love those movies, it is not at all a stretch for me to realize that they are almost unrecognizable when compared to the originals. I’m much less forgiving when it comes to adaptations of books and stories.
My re-education, as it were, stems mostly from poetry not novels, although I’ve read a few novel-length retellings – most notably Beauty, by Sherri Tepper and Briar Rose, by Jane Yolen. But I love the succinctness, the brevity of what it takes to subvert a well-known fairy tale in a poem. I love what a capable poet can do to give a character added depth, more back-story, which totally changes your emotional attachment or simply to re-invent the tale altogether, spinning it onward from the traditional ending or telling it from an alternate point of view, in such a narrow space. Mary McMyne is one of these capable poets.
Mary McMyne begins and ends Wolf Skin not with alternate fairy tales, but with poems about those ethereal winged creatures: Butterflies (and moths). They are not fairy tale creatures in the least, but I think she uses them in a way which mimics our feelings toward the characters found in fairy tales. Fluttery, flying creatures serve the same purpose, meaning that they’ve become Fairy Tale Creature allegories for some innate desire – mostly of Flying.
 Please head over to Amazing Stories to read the rest and to listen to the poetry! Enjoy!

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In other news, I'm slowly whittling away at all the narrating gigs I signed up for. Finally finished that paid gig and am told that it's being submitted to Audible! That would be quite awesome if I can claim to be an Audible narrator. I've been toying with the idea of signing up to be one of the narrators on Audiobook Creation Exchange (ACX) and now I think I must. But I really have to fix my set-up first! The room I record in is really too loud (traffic) and boomy for truly professional recordings.

I'm also making head-way on the next Poetry Planet (Animals 6 Creatures). I hope I'll be able to get it up before the end of the year - Ha! No really, the SFPA has just announced the winners of the Dwarf Stars Awards and the Elgin Awards, so I really should do a podcast on those. Or maybe I'll just write a post for Amazing Stories and record some poetry for it. Ah we'll see. So many plans, so little time!

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