Part wunderkammer, part grimoire, Maggie Queeney’s In Kind is focused on survival. A chorus of personae, speaking into and through a variety of poetic forms, guide the reader through the aftermath of generations of domestic, gendered, and sexual violence, before designing a transformation and rebirth. These are poems of witness, self-creation, and reclamation.
“This poet knows that to transform pain and anguish into words is to call on the ancient goddesses—earth women who spun new sources of nourishment, showing how to do the work that centuries of women poets, seers, makers, mothers, and wanderers would take up, take in, and become. How many ways can a poet invent to survive? Maggie Queeney shows us the old ways are infinite, umbilically connected to our now-howling, our new bodies beautiful amid the ageless brutality. No one can destroy this poet’s lived knowledge, though she speaks of destruction, because she also speaks of this regenerative line of women’s lived histories. In Kind is a book that mothers will relive, daughters will recognize, and the patriarchy will, if there is any justice of the kind Queeney imagines, shake in its boots. Shake then crumble, while Arachne spins triumphant.”—Brenda Shaughnessy, judge, Iowa Poetry Prize
“Maggie Queeney’s haunting new book is a stunner. She nails surviving trauma and the cost of enduring it in a complicated household. This collection is the sleeper hit you need to buy—haunting, evocative, easy to know, and impossible to forget.”—Mary Karr, author, The Liars’ Club
“That Queeney channels Ovid’s Metamorphoses as a touchstone makes perfect sense. She plumbs the same psychological depths as her predecessor. She knows there are monsters in the closets and under the beds. She knows, too, they will cower under her unblinking gaze.”—Christopher Kennedy, author, Clues from the Animal Kingdom
“Maggie Queeney spins then weaves intricately, in defiance of fate, the threads of origin and history. Here, transformation, fiercely rendered, salves then saves. Here—wound turned bruise then scar, traced over—the body harmed revisions herself to survive, to become. Unforgettable, haunting and hauntingly beautiful, In Kind is a rescue.”—Monica Berlin, author, Nostalgia for a World Where We Can Live
From “Cry Wolf”
Remember most do not know the name
of what they want, even as they are wanting—
the body incandesces, numb and ecstatic,
as it is destroyed.
Remember the wolf, drawn only
by gut and jaws, insistent as divining rods—
heart rearing at her name called,
finally, between the trees.