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Bent Under Night (2004): Debut Poetry Collection Is Solid

Gemma Files, Bent Under Night (Sinnersphere, 2004)

(note: review published 31Mar2008)

photo credit:

We can’t show it to you because the Internet fails us (and it’s packed away somewhere I can’t easily get to it).

Oh, I’m an idiot. It’s the last day of the month, and I like to clear out the review backlog on the last day of every month. I’ve been sitting on this review for a couple of weeks, because I’ve found it impossible to choose a single excerpt to use in it; unfortunately, the book is sitting on my desk at work. So no examples, you’ll just have to take my word for it. It also feels a bit redundant reviewing this so soon after reviewing Dust Radio, Files’ second collection of poetry, as most of the things I said there I would say here. Files’ dark fantasy background, augmented with a good, solid steeping in popular culture, soaks through these poems and radiates out through the words. (Imagine a piece of a poem here, since this is where I’d have put it.) The poems here are a bit less sure of themselves than those in Dust Radio, but that’s to be expected from a first collection; it’s still very good stuff. I’m not sure exactly what you’d have to do to score a copy of this chapbook these days, but I suggest you do so, especially if you’re a fan of Files’ excellent collections of short stories (Kissing Carrion and The Worm in Every Heart, both of which you all already own, correct?). Recommended. ***

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

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