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Sweet Poison Paperback – April 15, 2014
Books with Buzz
"Killers of the Flower Moon" is a twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. See more
A concert of close harmonies from two disturbingly compatible talents-two minds with a single (sick) thought, though stunningly diverse ways of illuminating it. From Alice and Wonderland to Lady Macbeth, poets in residence to time travelers in trouble, Simon and Turzillo offer readers a unique poetic mind game. Or maybe a mind field. Whatever your sweet poison, it's probably here. --Ann K. Schwader, Author of TWISTED IN DREAM & Stoker Award Finalist
First off, there's the title, SWEET POISON-is it to be an oxymoron or the name of some goth-punk band? In this case the truth may be some of both. But there is music still, and a method more like that of jazz, of point-counterpoint, of tossing a theme out to gain a new poem in reply, perhaps an expansion of the first theme, or an answer, or something totally new thrust out at a tangent. There are contradictions of period and style, classic and modern, and forays back to the 1960s, one of several leitmotifs that recur at times in surprising places. Some others: flawed love, murder and punishment, conversations with aliens and gods. And music, that of the poetry as well as its sometime subject, bringing us through to the final paired poems, by Turzillo and then by Simon-and back to the book's title-"Such Sweet Poison," Brilliant, and fun! --James Dorr, Author of The Tears of Isis
Simon and Turzillo take us on a magical adventure: both funereal and whimsical in tone, these poems never cease to spark and engage the reader's imagination. In addition, Wayne Miller's vivid illustrations are a perfect complement. Sweet Poison will entrance literary and genre aficionados alike, a collection that conjures new joys and terrors with every read. --John Amen, Editor of Pedestal Magazine, Author of More of Me Disappears
About the Author
Marge Simon's work appears in publications such as Strange Horizons, Niteblade, Daily Science Fiction, Pedestal Magazine, and Dreams & Nightmares. She has won the Strange Horizons Readers Choice Award, the Bram Stoker Award (2008,2012), the Rhysling Award and the Dwarf Stars Award.
Mary Turzillo's Nebula-winner, "Mars Is No Place for Children, and her Analog novelAn Old-Fashioned Martian Girl are recemmended reading on the international Space Station. She has been a finalist on the British SFA, Pushcart, Stoker, Dwarf Stars, and Rhysling ballots. Her poetry collection Lovers and Killers won the 2013 Elgin Award for Best Speculative Poetry Collection.
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Top Customer Reviews
Fear and horror are both personal experiences, and this collection of poems does not shy from discussing love as a form of dread, or a manifestation of dread, or something that might cause dread. But this is something that I interpreted, something that stuck out to me. I enjoyed some of the common imagery that was replayed, and there were plenty of academic allusions and metaphors to keep those readers who want something intellectual, but it never distracted from the artistry of any one piece. I thought of an anti-Pablo Neruda compilation, almost as if some of these poems were written as a response to a version of Neruda who was nothing more than the illusion of a brand, not a real man at all. I was pleased to see that the poets knew their subject material very well; the bathtub metaphor/image popped up on more than one occasion, and it really hit home in “Countess Bathory’s Procurer,” which takes something that might be considered horror-trope and pushes it into the context of a collection, especially since so many poems seemed to be from a “modern” perspective, and this poem seemed to add a hint of timelessness to the themes. There is more common imagery throughout, and it works very well as a collection (no spoiler here). “Nothing to Do with Shakespeare,” “Slouching South,” “Funeral Rite,” “The Alien Professor’s Wife”; these are some of my favorites in this collection, poems that stuck with me.
I should also give a nod to the artist, M. Wayne Miller.