Glimmerglass Girl

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Pub Date Aug 03 2018 | Archive Date Nov 30 2018

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Glimmerglass Girl is a collection of poetry and images about womanhood and femininity. This debut collection from author Holly Lyn Walrath explores life, love, marriage, abuse, self-harm, the body, death, and alcoholism through the lens of a woman’s heart. It takes readers through a speculative and fantastical world of fairy tales and unicorns where femininity is as powerful and delicate as a glass-winged butterfly.

“Tensile and luminous as a glass-winged butterfly, Glimmerglass Girl chronicles the passions of a woman’s heart and its multifarious musings with a marvelous mix of toughness and tenderness. In a shimmering world at once ‘honey-brimmed and buzzing,’ where ‘blueberry coffee’ and a ‘kissing prayer,’ or a ‘quiet mess of a body of light’ offer diurnal delights, this wildly chimerical gathering of hybridized fairy tales and fabulous meditations on womanhood might carry Emily Dickinson’s admonition of epistolary intimacy, ‘open me carefully.’ Indeed, readers should open Walrath’s slender volume carefully, hold these rare poems up to the sun, then lean in quietly to hear each one sing in flight.”

—Karen An-hwei Lee, author of Phylo of Joy, Ardor, and In Medias Res. 

". . . an intersection between ethereal loftiness, humorous speculation, and poignant consideration. . . a collection of poetry and images that encourage readers to be more than they perceive themselves to be." --VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts

Available August 3 from Finishing Line Press and August 24 from Amazon and other retailers. 

Glimmerglass Girl is a collection of poetry and images about womanhood and femininity. This debut collection from author Holly Lyn Walrath explores life, love, marriage, abuse, self-harm, the body...

Advance Praise

". . . an intersection between ethereal loftiness, humorous speculation, and poignant consideration. . . a collection of poetry and images that encourage readers to be more than they perceive themselves to be."

—VIDA: Women in the Literary Arts

"Glimmerglass Girl elegantly captures a female journey eerily familiar, a reflection of me, or a lost relative to whom I have only now been introduced. Walrath's lush verse winds around perceptions, challenging them, guiding them back, like a skilled hand guides a toddler. Just as I start to learn to roll over, to sit up, to stand—her layered, linked verse invents new ways for me to understand the world I have lived in so long."

—Karen Bovenmyer, author of Swift for the Sun

"Glimmerglass Girl's beautiful verse pulls you in, entrances you and transports you—quite the worthwhile read!"

—Tonya Liburd, Senior Editor, Abyss & Apex

"Washing the dishes, peeling an onion, wearing a bra, all these details of life become immersed in magic in Holly Lyn Walrath's gorgeous poems.  In Glimmerglass Girl, the questions of how to be a woman and how to reconcile the different sides of our bodies and selves is brought into startling focus. Walrath's writing takes your breath away and then sucker punches you, but I mean this in the best possible way—these poems devastate, destruct, and then bring you back to life."

—Chloe N. Clark, author of The Science of Unvanishing Objects

"In her debut chapbook, Glimmerglass Girl, Holly Walrath’s lyrical yet startling language explores the layered experiences of women. The flowing, ephemeral effects of poems like “Elegy for a Body,” compliment the emotional accessibility of explorations of modern women’s self-doubt such as “Self Portrait through an iPhone.” Clever and moving illustrations provide the perfect finishing touch to Walrath’s haunting collection. "

—Patricia Flaherty Pagan, author of Enduring Spirit

“An ethereal collection of emotional gut-punches—Walrath delves into the hidden depths of womanhood with poems at once violent and delicately beautiful.”

—Cassandra Rose Clarke, author of Star’s End, Our Lady of the Ice, and The Mad Scientist’s Daughter

“Glimmerglass Girl delights and chills the senses in equal measure, deceptively minute in its scope. Walrath challenges preconceived notions of feminine identity in these delicate, uncanny poems—and spares nobody, no body, in the process.”—A.J. Odasso, Senior Poetry Editor, Strange Horizons

". . . an intersection between ethereal loftiness, humorous speculation, and poignant consideration. . . a collection of poetry and images that encourage readers to be more than they perceive...

Average rating from 60 members

Featured Reviews

Thank you so much to Finishinglinepress via netgalley for sending me an ARC copy of Glimmerglass girl by Holly Warlath. This will be released on August 3rd of 2018.

Glimmerglass girl ⭐️
This is a collection of poetry of sorts. Its not the typical collection. Its more like very short short stories.
There is artwork within and helps bring the shorts to life.

Favorite poems
In rejoice of kindred grief
Behind the glass
Elegy for a body
She leanrs how to disappear

Favorite quotes
“With sadness like no tomorrow”
“We talked about the future which seemed to end in may”
“I take up ashes like taking up space”
“I spilt myself apart”
“Human she is not quite”
“Our bones hollow fingertips into feather”

It was unique and beautiful. So many different concepts and points of view. This was not just one thing. It also has many different styles of poetry which was interesting to see.

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A chapbook of feminine writings with tales of fragile emotions that stir a whirlwind of strength. If read by a male mind, he may feel closer to knowing the heart of a woman. When a woman reads these poems, she may feel they were written for her.

It was impossible for me to stop reading until I had finished the last poem. Then I was sorry to see it over. I truly wanted more of this writing style.

The author tells secrets. She dares to say it. Life expects us to play nice and these poems felt like an outlet. Each poem meant something very deep and very personal to me.

While reading, I was reminded of things I do not need and the things that mean the most. What should be cherished. What can be let go.

In this wonderful book of poetry, the mundane is art.

Taking a note from one poem in particular, “I AM GOING TO FIND THE UNICORNS”. The entire piece is surreal yet hits me. It screams and sets things straight with “Blood and horns and teeth.” It is a beautiful way to thumb your nose to the world and carry on as one may see fit.

This poetry is not typical. The art following each poem makes this book a beautiful illustration.

The stories are told quickly. Being short and to the point, the point is driven hard and deep.

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A beautiful collection of poetry that shifts between reality and fantasy, hard and soft, feminine and masculine. Walrath breathes life into the mundane, making the peeling of an onion into something precise and moving, while also challenging our idea of femininity and womanhood as she examines what it is to be a woman. I will return to this collection again.

Some of my favourite lines:

“the crisp brown suits off of a pair of onions”
“drifting out over the lake whose surface was pinched as if by some invisible touch”
“We will look upon ourselves, whole and blinding”
“I wish this memory into dream. If I dream it enough, it frays thin, dies a ghost death easier than his”

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Thank you, Finishing Line Press for the ARC copy of Glimmerglass girl by Holly Warlath.

This chapbook is daring, raw and everything poetry dealing with feminine identity should be. I had a hard time pausing in between poems because each left me wanting more. But these poems are meant to be tasted and savored. They do leave an aftertaste that takes a couple of minutes to wear off, but it is the kind that is exciting and invigorating.

I especially loved "I Am Going To Find The Unicorns." The imagery is strong and in-your-face.
"I will kneel in the dirt and read leaves like ruins. I
will put mud in my mouth to taste dwarves."

The concise nature of chapbooks brings out the true impact of poetry as strong as this. I would love to read more from Holly, she has a new fan.

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Generally a very well-written collection of poetry, exploring themes of being a woman. Even though that isn't something I share with the author I still found the scenes and images to be evocative and relateable. As a whole, an enjoyable poetry chapbook.

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As a short collection of poems, Glimmerglass Girl was a quick read for me. With delightfully lyrical language, impactful images, and a sophisticated flourish under her arsenal, Holly Lyn Walrath offers a myriad of layered female experiences in a very limited number of pages. While I greatly enjoyed most of the pieces, my five favorites were Espejitos, Behind the Glass, Woman, Two Hundred Fifty-Seven, and The Art of Loneliness.

I cannot think of a better title for this book because a lot of the imagery depicted in the poems was shockingly vivid, and at times, graphically violent and fascinatingly morbid – yet, in spite of this, these images were still presented in an almost delicate, poignant manner. Additionally, no matter how dark and ominous the tone became, an underlying thoughtfulness was still palpable. As I read, I found myself constantly startled but above all else, intrigued and wanting to read numerous passages over and over again.

I was not a fan of the complementary artworks that accompanied some of the poems because they made the text more difficult to read. In addition to this, none of them made a lasting impression on me nor were they value-adding to my overall reading experience. Nonetheless, I was immensely fascinated by the text. There were more than a handful of poems I could interpret in more ways than one, which was pretty interesting. Glimmerglass Girl is definitely a haunting yet captivating collection that can easily provoke readers into speculating on the lived experiences of women as well as underlying notions of femininity.

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Glimmerglass Girl is a poetry collection that speaks to the modern woman and deals with many issues of the self. The collection is relatively short, so you have to sit with each poem to gain some insight into the meaning and emotion in conveys. Many of the poems are simple without much flowery language, so it is something that can be easily accessible for any type of poetry reader.

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Fantastic prose! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves great poetry! It is so hard to stand out in the world of poetry where every line is a rhyme of simple words like you, do, too, and through! It was refreshing to find poetry that actually tells a great story! Thank you for allowing me early access to this ARC!

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Glimmerglass Girl
by Holly Lyn Walrath
Finishing Line Press

Pub Date 03 Aug 2018

I am reviewing a copy of Glimmerglass Girl through Fishing Line Press and Netgalley:

Poetry is one of the hardest genres to review because a poem can have a different meaning to every reader l:
In this short collection of poetry Holly Lyn Walrath explores love, marriage, abuse and self harm of the body, death and alcoholism through a woman's heart who has experienced them in on one way or another. It does this while taking the reader on a fantastical journey through the world of fairytales and unicorns. A world where feminity is both as powerful and delicate as a wing glassed beauty.

I give Glimmerglass Girl five out of five stars!

Happy Reading!

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Holly Lyn Walrath’s ‘Glimmerglass Girl’ is a steady descent into self
August 3, 2018

“My Glimmerglass Girl is merely a shadow of myself, so I ask only that you hold her gently, for she may slip away before you have come to fully know her.”

Holly Lyn Walrath opens her collection with this subtle entreaty, and the words set the tone for the rest of her work—a searching, ethereal book of poems.Glimmerglass Girl

Glimmerglass Girl, just out from Finishing Line Press, covers a variety of themes, but centers around the search for self-knowledge and self-recognition. This search’s incarnation is decidedly feminine, and includes moments of profound solitude, as well as the motion of being in relationship to another.

There are meditations on heart and soul, with a tender probing of loneliness underneath. Many of the poems have a mirrored and echoing quality—they seem to come from the borderlands of the psyche, where who we know we are meets the subconscious and mysterious currents below.

While I spend most of my writing time on short stories and longform fiction, I’ve been drawn to both reading and exploring speculative poetry of late. Walrath’s collection was a chance to see what that art form can do when it comes to delineating and illuminating a life.

The obliqueness of the speculative elements in this collection calls to me. I resonated with Walrath’s choice to approach the subject, herself, from strange angles and surprise moments of quietude. I wonder if it is perhaps the only way to learn something new about oneself.

It’s clear that Walrath understands something profound about living, about what it means to choose self-examination again each moment. Her poetry shows a patience for the murky process of internal discovery.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines:

From “She Learns How to Disappear:”

She memorizes little spaces she could hide in— / the white place between letters on the page / the dashboard radio like a golden dias.

From “I am Going to Find the Unicorns:”

Not the human’s idea of them, / all bright purple and cheeky. / No, the real ones. Blood and horns / and teeth.

Find Walrath on Twitter @HollyLynWalrath or visit her website I’ll also put in a plug for her newsletter The Weird Circular, where she curates speculative writing calls for submission, and offers prompts and writerly advice. It’s where I found out about her collection in the first place.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Nice use of words and language in these moody and atmospheric yet very readable poems. I liked the incorporation of drawings and photographs as well. A good collection!

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As I mentioned in the post for the other volume of poetry I reviewed today, I feel something of an obligation to read a book of poetry now and then because I published one myself. Poetry is a tough sell these days and is in fact a dying art in terms of publishing. I actually find that strange, because in this modern world of short attention spans and sound bites, you would think that poetry would do well. On the other hand, sound-bites tend to be the lowest common denominator, which is the very antithesis of good poetry, so maybe that's why it doesn't do so well?!

This does makes me wonder though, if poetry has become too disconnected from real life for its own good. It used to be that poetry rhymed and while as a kid I never did quite get the non-rhyming ones, as an adult they made a lot more sense. I'm not advocating for rhyming poems here although I personally have no problem with them. For some reason - the leading suspect is disdain - they're out of fashion these days in poetry books, but are an area of endeavor that seems to have been usurped not by greeting cards, but by popular music these days. Perhaps, when all is said and done, this is what rap music is? I don't know! I'm not a fan of rap, but it does seem to be the natural if belated heir to the beat generation of the forties and fifties.

I would definitely advocate for poetry that's more accessible, and especially that's accessible to children, who are actually being spoiled by growing-up learning only that a poem has to rhyme line for line. A poem can rhyme in many more senses than the last word in the line: it can rhyme in sense, in meaning, in feeling and in other ways. This is the heart of poetry, and it's something children do not learn. They're taught exactly the opposite with nursery rhymes and rhyming children's picture books, which makes it hardly a surprise that when those children become adults, they don't pay poetry much mind, associated with childhood things and put away as it evidently is.

This particular volume was a pleasure to read, although it seemed a little odd to read in the front of the book that it was a work of fiction! It was the standard disclaimer, but when related to a book of poetry that's hopefully pulled from the author's heart and soul, what can that mean exactly? I wonder!

The first poem, "Espejitos" (Mirrors - that's what living in Texas will get you!) was highly topical and had #MeToo written all over it; not literally, but in the words of Doctor Who, "Give me a crayon and some time...." The book has a butterfly image superimposed on the text, appropriately a glass-winged butterfly, but I have to say that parts of the image were so dark that they obscured the text. I'm not sure if this was intentional. If so it was an interesting effect: a poem about women being undervalued, effaced, unseen, retired to a haunting mirror image, abused, and then being further abused by something as delicate as a butterfly?

There were other poems accompanied by images, but none of those seemed to interfere with the text like this first one did, except perhaps for "Wind-up Girl", which featured a picture of a ballerina collapsed almost like a tortoise retreated into a shell. The picture was dark and the text white, but some of it disappeared into the tutu it must be reported! Maybe this was the #MeTutu movement? The poem and image very-well recalled the dancing girl in a music box and how captive she is.

I really liked several of these poems, in particular "In rejoice of Kindred Grief", "Two Young Wives", and "She learns How to Disappear." I particularly liked "Woman" which in its succeeding line echoing the previous reminded me so much of some of my own work and harks back to what I said above about rhyming in ways other than matching the last words of each line. I will quote a small section of this to illustrate:
I split myself apart
parting seas
seaward bound prow
prowling wood hewn rough
rough as the chill of
There's no rhyme here in words as such, but there is rhythm in how the first word of the next line catches the last word of the previous one and reinterprets it, continuing the poem. This is very much to my taste and something I like to bring to prose when I can, if I can. It's especially apparent in my parodies where I feel no need to constrain myself, so for me, it was a real joy to read it here and see how well done it was.

The book is quite short, only some forty-six pages of which only thirty or so are poems, but it says a lot in that small space - itself evoking the small space some women are forced to occupy in this male-dominant world, so even that worked. I can't claim that I loved everything in the book by any means, but poetry is like a box of, I won't go there! Suffice to say there was more enough to love, and I commend this as a highly worthy read, full of heart and meaning.

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With a mix of the personal and the fantastic, Holly Lyn Walwrath’s beautiful collection of poetry Glimmerglass Girl explores womanhood from multiple angles, revealing the ways we break apart and pull ourselves back together again. An interview with Holly will be appearing on <a href=””>my blog</a> next week.

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Glimmerglass Girl is a relatable collection with a lovely use of language. The verses are accessible and can take on a surreal quality, tinged with darkness many times throughout the collection. In particular, I am Going to Find the Unicorns was full of vivid, imagery that lingered long after the poem ended.

I also enjoyed the inclusion of the illustrations accompanying the poems, which generally can go either way for me, but was effective here and gave the verses another layer.

Will be checking out the poet’s other works on the back of this.

This was an ARC in exchange for an honest review, with thanks to Netgalley and Finishing Line Press.

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This thin chapbook of poems seems at once light and dark, brilliant yet incomprehensible. I read through each offering twice and came away no wiser, despite preparing myself to find meaning in the words. A poem that begins “I am night and a thousand stars hurtle through/my skin, punching through the ether” sets the reader up for a powerful experience. It’s over a few short paragraphs later, a story not tied up neatly, only words and a mental picture that creates an unsatisfactory feeling. Not unsatisfactory in a bad way – just a longing for something more to grasp, a clearer picture of sorts.

The author does have a way with words, stringing them together like a delicate necklace that has its own beauty, yet doesn’t match with anything in the closet. That is not to say it is a wasted purchase -understand that these poems may not meet with your expectations. They are an acquired taste, revealing more each time they are read. Two particular poems became my favorites: I Swallowed the Moon and Blue Cadillac. I feel that Cadillac is the most mainstream work, easily understood, with fondness for the title character (?) shining through easily. I too, remember the classic cars with wistful nostalgia, as the poem notes:

And somehow in this memory of you/your massive lines like some primordial behemoth/long since dead and buried/in ice, the very blueness of you, I may have/remembered myself, another classic beauty.

It was so easy to conjure up big fins in the Texas heat as I absorbed this poem. Images formed freely in my head, unlike some of the author’s other writings in this book. Sometimes the final lines give off a hint of sarcasm, of impropriety or dismissal; other times the end is so far away from the beginning you don’t know what to think. There is a strong undercurrent of feminism and heartbreak in the words, and at times I wondered what experiences the author had, to describe in such a way.

All and all, not the worst way to spend time reading. Poetry is more resonant with people; either you love it or hate it. This little book was pleasant to read, despite the fact that I came away from most of it confused. Read it and let me know what you think.

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Thank you to Finishing Line Press, Netgalley, and Holly Lyn Walrath for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.

"We live in a world of unfulfilled fairytales. You were promised... I was promised..."
"She memorizes little spaces she could hide in..."
-WOW! Just WOW!

There were a few poems that grabbed a hold of me immediately and left shivers down my spine. There were other poems that I couldn't quite grasp - as it can be with many poetry collections. When I finished this short collection and closed the book, I was, at first, dissatisfied. It was at best mediocre to me. After about 10 minutes that passed, I was surprised at the pull to pick the book up to read again.

This is definitely a collection that deserves time and thought when reading. Not one to be rushed, but to linger as to feel the appreciation of the words and imagery on the pages.

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I am new to poetry, new as a reader/reviewer, but my love for poetry is nothing new. I have been reading several new poets and I am blown away by this talented poet. I find myself reading certain poems over and over and each time I take away something different, that is a sure trademark of a great poet. Inspiring and very personal, exactly what I look for in a great book! I have a new favorite author, Holly Lyn Walrath. I have purchased the actual book and it is a favorite, I only buy hard copies of my favorite books! NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review Glimmerglass Girl by Holly Lyn Walrath.

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Very short poetry collection. Short but still deep enough to make the reader feel what the writer wanted to say. Relfexions on feminity, love, abuse. Powerful words.

"Inside here with me,
The afreet's ghost
and the memory of feeling thin"

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