Woohoo! My book is available. (Where’s that champagne bottle again? Empty?)
Since Doll God is now up on Amazon here, I thought I would tell you a little more about the collection. Here is the full description:
Luanne Castle’s debut poetry collection, Doll God, studies traces of the spirit world in human-made and natural objects–a Japanese doll, a Palo Verde tree, a hummingbird. Her exploration leads the reader between the twin poles of nature and creations of the imagination in dolls, myth, and art.
From the first poem, which reveals the child’s wish to be godlike, to the final poem, an elegy for female childhood, this collection echoes with the voices of the many in the one: a walking doll, a murderer, Snow White. Marriage, divorce, motherhood, and family losses set many of the poems in motion. The reader is transported from the lakes of Michigan to the Pacific Ocean to the Sonoran Desert.
These gripping poems take the reader on a journey through what is found, lost, or destroyed. The speaker in one poem insists, “I am still looking for angels.” She has failed to find them yet keeps searching on. She knows that what is lost can be found.
It’s really hard to describe your own book! Seriously. I wrote the above description, but it seemed agonizing to do so. After all that work crafting those three little paragraphs, you better believe I’m going to use it ;).
If you’re so inclined to buy Doll God and see what I’ve spent so much time on for the past 20 years, I will be thrilled to hear how the poems make you feel. Because above all, poems should be felt as a sensation or series of sensations.
I was so blessed to get pre-publication reviews from some absolutely stellar poets and writers. Although Stuart Dybek is most well-known as one of the most important short story writers of the time, he began his writing career as a poet and has published two poetry collections, in addition to many other books. Matthew Lippman and Caroline Goodwin are highly successful and absolutely wonderful poets. Their styles couldn’t be more dissimilar, and yet they both write exquisite poetry. You can find these blurbs on the back of Doll God.
“Every day the world subtracts from itself,” Luanne Castle observes. Her wonderfully titled collection, Doll God, with its rich and varied mix of poems part memoir, part myth and tale, shimmers as it swims as poetry is meant to, upstream against the loss.
Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author of Streets in Their Own Ink
In her haunting first collection, Luanne Castle has created a space where “the sounds/of the schoolchildren/and the traffic/grind down/to nothing” and where the reader is invited to experience the lasting echo of our primal human past. Who makes our toys, and why? Which toys and in whose likeness? With startling imagery and a keen eye for the subtler shapes of violence and redemption, Castle asks us to consider and re-consider these questions. Like a “world of broken mirrors waiting” the poems call us back to ourselves, our childhoods, and the potential rewards of prayer and reflection. I find both hope and despair in these pages, where “every day the world subtracts from itself and nothing/is immune,” and every object contains a voice and a story. This is a fierce and beautiful book.
Caroline Goodwin, author of Trapline
Luanne Castle’s new collection, Doll God, is sublime. The manner of these poems– that they embrace the doll and bring to it humanity and divinity–is something to behold. The voice in these poems is tender, visceral, and wonderfully human. Ms. Castle has forged a vision that feels like something you want to dance with, dress up, talk to like a child, but with an adult’s sensibility. I love these poems with my whole heart because they make me feel both childlike and grown, simultaneously. Doll mistresses, primordial conches, Barbies, infuse these poems with tremendous humanity, and they delight with purpose, sadness and joy, and an incredible range that will leave you breathless.
Matthew Lippman, author of American Chew
I’m so nervous and so excited for you to read my book. I hope you like it. Better yet, I hope some of the poems resonate with you and your life.