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In her debut poetry collection, Emily Stoddard takes on a god who “kicks us from the inside.” These poems challenge the space between the divine and the stories we invent—or inherit—about what to believe and why.
DIVINATION WITH A HUMAN HEART ATTACHED is a book where the sacred doesn’t shy away from what’s surreal, unavoidably human, or unexpectedly absurd. Here, the gods know what it’s like to be lonely, the daughters know the power of expecting more, and every bird is at risk of becoming an omen. The poems are led by Petronilla, the daughter of St. Peter, and the magpie, who refuses easy shelter and asks you to do the same.
“Stoddard ignites the patriarchal canon from within, exploding the darkness and violence with dazzling lyricism, incisive wit, and such taut restraint, every deeply-honed emotion sizzles at the seams. These poems are wise, witchy, and mystical.” —Jenn Givhan, author of Belly to the Brutal
“In Emily Stoddard’s stunning debut collection, Divination with a Human Heart Attached, we enter into a world of myth and magic, surrealism and a heart on fire. Stoddard’s poems are graceful and fierce, insisting, Every year, I want more passion, less resurrection. These poems are spiritual in the best way—they lean over the edge, see a drowning world and admit I do not have wing enough to save anyone. But Stoddard’s poems do save us. In beauty and blessing, these poems seek connection even in the comedy as they look for the god they lost between department store racks, tucked between / the gold-star clearance cardigans and last season’s tank tops.” —Kelli Russell Agodon, author of Dialogues with Rising Tides
“Emily Stoddard’s important and elegant debut collection holds my attention from the first poem and does not let go. The trouble is / everything calls to me, she begins. Slowly, fragments of memory, the natural world, and a retelling of familiar myths realign themselves in unexpected ways.” —Susan Rich, author of Gallery of Postcards and Maps
Emily Stoddard (she/her) is a poet and writer living in Michigan. Her writing has appeared in Tupelo Quarterly, Baltimore Review, Ruminate, Radar, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Cold Mountain Review, Whitefish Review, and elsewhere. In 2021, she was selected as the nonfiction fellow in the Developmental Editing Fellowship at Kenyon Review. Emily's debut poetry book is forthcoming from Game Over Books and was a finalist for the Orison Poetry Prize, Wren Poetry Prize, and Barry Spacks Poetry Prize. She is also a leader of the Amherst Writers & Artists Method and supports fellow writers through her studio, Voice & Vessel.