Marcia Pelletiere
(Four Way Books, Spring 2019)
PRAISE for A Crown of Hornets:  

  • "Marcia Pelletiere's work is nothing short of miraculous. In this breathtaking collection, she portrays the sudden terrifying loss, and arduous regaining, of her sense of self. The rhythm and music of her poems are transformative; we experience them on a visceral level, as if the words were not merely written to be read, but to be etched directly into our bodies and minds." - Helen Fremont 

  • "This is a poet writing from the cliffs of herself: 'With my trampled mind/ I saw and weighed the thunder.' With uncommon precision, Marcia Pelletiere gives voice to what's been irrevocably altered while embodying not only what survives, but continues to save. In breathtaking, kaleidoscopic fashion, these poems detail a woman's new (a)symmetries after catastrophe. Pelletiere is writing in the wake of very specific circumstances, but who among us hasn't 'pleaded with the storm to stay/veiled and delicate inside my skin?' These poems makes me guard my throat, groan in recognition. What truth-gold she mines out of misfortune! 'I don't know what I knew,' she writes. Lucille Clifton once said, 'Even when the universe made it quite clear to me that I was mistaken in my certainties... I did not break. The shattering of my sureties did not shatter me.' How fortuitous to encounter this poet who also asserts, 'Some of us get so messed up/ we can't get back./ But I'm welded for heavy use again.'" - Kamilah Aisha Moon

  • "Marcia Pelletiere's astonishing new collection achieves a melding of form and content that is rare in our time. Working from autobiographical material, she has fashioned a poetic language that transmits both denotatively and metaphorically the peculiar linguistic and visual symptoms of traumatic brain injury. Endowed with a huge lexicon, and strengthened by a storehouse of dynamic syntax, Pelletiere's poems shimmer and shine even as they break us apart with their masterful evocations of woundedness, and the poet's determined search for wholeness after illness." - Kate Daniels


Yes, that boulevard, that

rain-wet road, the truck

that tried to bypass

my red car—yet

skidded at an angle, in,

swallowing half a decade

(the brain sheered left

along the bone and split

apart my former self). Inside

that fractured dusk, ink soaks

into a ring of trees I’m

pinioned within.

poem from "A Crown of Hornets" 
(first published in DMQ Review)