Women and Other Hostages by Lauren McCullough


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If you, like the speaker in Laura McCullough’s poem, “Almost Nothing Something [stars / plates / cells]” have grown “tired & suspicious of poetry” Women & Other Hostages will absolutely revitalize you. These are riveting, wholly moving narratives of a life lived. Out of sorrow McCullough invokes a stunning grace where “What is stripped from you” becomes a gift because “what’s left behind is all your own.” Women of all circumstances inhabit these poems. They shed their skin like snakes, “memory in flesh,” and consider the bones of what holds us together in these divisive times. This beautiful book will knock loose what is lodged in your heart. —Suzanne Frischkorn

Early in this collection, McCullough offers this: Tilt back your neck; expose your throat. / You know you want to be devoured. Each of these poems contains universes that quiver with desire, in one form or another. With heat. Both the fear of it as well as the joy. Desire is the engine that got us here, yet these poems push even beyond that, beyond forgiveness even, beyond this cage we all inhabit, out and into the deeper mysteries—don’t I know what it is like / to walk in a cloud of my own making? — Nick Flynn

Women and Other Hostages by Lauren McCullough
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