Spectral Evidence

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The title of Trista Edwards’ collection of poetry refers to the stories of out-of-body abominations given as evidence at the Salem witch trials. The epigram is from The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s dramatization of the trials. Both are fitting premises. These are serious poems, visions, and recollections of life-altering pain and loss. We are often in the company of perceived witches and deceivers, through whom questions about self-identities taken from what others call us are pressed, and sometimes, left to us for answers long after we finish reading.

Edwards’ experience as a wordsmith and editor shows. The poems deliver on the title and epigram. They are well-written, in free verse of varying length as appropriate, without poor word choices, weakness of tone, or textual inconsistencies. Verses are drawn with staccato sentences, truncated as necessary to let the mind catch up with the eyes, to trip the unwary tongue. Honest readers might need to turn to a dictionary or other references for a fuller understanding of a few pieces, but what good is poetry that attempts to illuminate without also educating?

Full marks to the poet and to readers who choose to explore Edwards’ visions and words.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 92 pages
Publisher April Gloaming
Publish Date 2020-Oct-27
ISBN 9780988206199
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue December 2020
Category Poetry & Short Stories


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