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You Can't Pick Your Genre

you can't pick your genre chapbook cover

I'm happy to announce my second chapbook of 2016 is available for pre-order now from Jellyfish Highway. The poems are all about and in response to the Scream movie franchise, but they reach beyond that to critiquing the suburbs, dismantling how the female body is destroyed by the male gaze, and functioning as little lyric essay about the nature of fear. The chap will be officially released Tuesday, April 12th, and for now are available via Jellyfish Highway's website and our Kickstarter, where my editors are gathering funds to finance expanding our catalog and start an urban writing residency in Atlanta, GA.

My press wants you to think of my little monster like this:

The poems in Emily O'Neill's You Can't Pick Your Genre endure. They riot. These poems are shining echoes from the Scream film series, but they are also warnings, testimonials, declarations. Emily O'Neill tells us, "Watch how practiced / you are, letting him practice desire on your disinterest." O'Neill re-renders the split-open bodies of women in horror films as testimonials of survival. Each poem is a reclamation, a rebirth, pulling the audience through the horror of how it feels to be acted upon as an object at a story's center. Each howling voice tells the reader, I am still here and I can never be killed.

Carrie Lorig, one of my favorite poetry brains, wrote a little more about the book for us:

I have walked in the cemetery with Emily O'Neill. I have walked in the cemetery with You Can't Pick Your Genre. To mourn the bleeding girl. To party with her bold heart / to deeply listen to it. "Climb to the roof. Look down / on what we're losing. / What we never dead- / bolted. The safety we can't / keep permanently safe." The intricate lace or speaking of the bleeding girl insists on a complexity the world refuses to give her, that you refuse to give her. She, unimaginable, / She, an entertainment, / She, a perfection, / She, a pity, / She, indestructible, faces the killer / the men who congratulate themselves for hiding it so well, the bodies they follow and tug on and hurl and bruise. "There's power here. Look away." The bleeding girl. We mourn her / We share our blood with her / We celebrate her as she faces the killer / the men as she exposes their ugly / fear, as she refuses to be a plot point, as she lives unignored / and various.