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open letter

Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women, Sheri D-Wilson, Frontenac House Poetry, frontenachouse.com, 104 pgs, $15.95

“This,
The Black Book of Unopened Letters
Is addressed to all people –“

This is the mantra that starts off Sheri-D’s latest collection of poetry. With an arsenal of eight poetry books under her belt, her latest, Open Letter: Woman Against Violence Against Women, is a biting work. It presents healing, history, defense lessons, and consolation without shying away from the discernible anger that drives the project.

Not one to shy away from experimentation, Wilson frees up sonnets by breaking them into minimalistic imagery. Alternately, she constrains free forms into her own molds, making the female voice a transformative one. The texts were conceived through improvisational performance, giving her words a flair for the dramatic, yet tempering them with supporting research: the Montreal massacre, the ideology behind historical witch hunts, Celtic matriarchal mythologies, and starkly personal accounts from the poet’s life as well.

Violence threads these pages together, and when read out loud, they become a modern feminist revision of the beat aesthetic. A refreshing read, this collage is a reparative and educational companion. (Jacqueline Valencia)

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