Drawing upon Edmund Burke’s definition of the sublime—the odd beauty associated with fear and self-preservation; our astonished delight in what destroys, what overpowers and compels us toward darkness—these strange poems mine the sinister fault lines between weird fiction, expressionism, gothic horror, and notions of the absurd, cracking the mundane shell of our given metaphysical order. In the traditions of Nerval, Trakl, Schulz, Tadić, Poe, and contemporaries Aase Berg and Jeff Vandermeer, the wonderful disassociation brought to bear on the reader lies in the conjuring of unprecedented worlds, their myths and logics, their visions and transformations—worlds that resist interpretation almost successfully, and reveal to us the uncanny and nightmarish.
“The nightmare and the images enter the reader imperceptibly and lead our gaze toward a new form of attention, a dark cutting pain paired with a strangely wonderful sense of delight. The Hatch is another real world.”
“Joe Fletcher casts gorgeous, vivid images in highly controlled, elegantly crafted sentences. His speakers move through menacing landscapes and weird tableaux, inviting comparisons to Jerzy Kosinski’s beautifully nightmarish The Painted Bird; the tales of the Brothers Grimm; and even worlds conjured by such science fiction writers as James E. Gunn and Brian Aldiss. Fletcher moves from one intuition to the next with a confidence tempered by negative capability, creating constant surprise and its attendant pleasures. You should read this book.”
“The Hatch is a wild read. The momentum of these poems feels like a voice on a journey, more like a mission, like a night expedition into the dark of poetry. There is an uneasiness of expression throughout. It is a brilliant and original first book.”