New poetry from Deerbrook Editions

cover grab KIN S

In these poems, Margaret Yocom offers a new vision of Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm’s controversial “Allerleirauh” (“All Kinds Of Fur”), a lesser-known version of “Cinderella” that opens with incest. Erasing the Grimms’ words to reveal a young woman’s story of her journey to a new, full life, Yocom asks, What would ‘All Kinds of Fur’ say if she could tell her own tale? In ALL KINDS OF FUR , the heroine’s words rise.

Erasure is a contemporary poetry-writing practice. Poets begin with a source text of any kind and then “erase” selected words and letters, using one or several methods—such as whiting or blacking out their selections, or “ghosting” them with a gray font. What remains are erasure poems.

In her “Afterword: tale / translation / erasure,” the author explores the history of the tale “All Kinds Of Fur” (and its many, international versions) as well as her translation of the Grimms’ text. She also discusses erasure poetry more fully and mentions other erasure poets and their work.  Here is an excerpt about the author’s own erasure practice:

. . . For me, the process of erasure has not been “What words should I erase?” but rather “What words rise?” Erasure offers me a chance to make visible and concrete a conversation—perhaps, even, an argument— between two texts. Through such a poem, rather than an essay, I can disagree with other interpretations of the tale as well as the assumptions of its translators. I can also create an alternative vision that presents the way a young woman, a survivor of abuse, would tell this tale . . .

Available now only on the press site.

  Cover art: Painting Bear Girl by Anne Siems.


Two poems by Joan Siegel

There are many good poems in Hyacinth for the Soul by Joan Siegel. Her many endorsements by writers attest to this, writers such as Maxine Kumin, Diane Wakoski, and Vivian Shipley.

Here are two poems from the book that exhibit the ardor that runs throughout the book.

Folk Tale

The childless farmer’s wife dreams
about the cow and her calf. Warm milk
squeezed through her fingers into a pail.
She rends her apron and prays. Each night
she makes deals with the gods.

She’d give back anything—
Her mother’s gold ring.
Her mother’s last words.
The years of her childhood.
Her long golden hair.
The first night of love.
One arm, two eyes,
all her memories,

even the calf’s tongue on the udder,
the sound of sucking in the warm barn,
the smell of fresh straw.

The Mother of Joan of Arc

She walks one hundred miles
to kneel at the statue of Mary.

In Le Puy’s cold cathedral,
she prays for her daughter,
one mother to another.

Her prayer
is the mother’s longing—
as it was at the birth
that first ripped her open—
to hold
what her body made

not see the flesh
of her flesh
like paper.