selected by Alex Lemon as a winner of the National Poetry Series and published by Milkweed Editions
Double Jinx follows the multiple transformations—both figurative and literal—that accompany adolescence and adulthood, particularly for young women. A series of poems depict the character of Nancy Drew as she delves into an obsession with a doppelgänger. Cinderella wakes up to a pumpkin and a tattered dress after her prince grows tired of her. A young girl obsessed with fairy tales becomes fascinated with a copy of Gray’s Anatomy in which she finds a “pink girl pinned to the page as if in vivisection. Could she / be pink inside like that? No decent girl / would go around the world like that, uncooked.” The collection produces an understanding of the ways we construct ourselves, whether by way of imitation, performance, or transformation. And it looks forward as well, for in coming to understand our identities as essentially malleable, we are liberated. Or, as the author writes, “we’ll be our own gods now.”
“Reddy channels the vibe and energy of Plath and Sexton, but it’s her arresting language that’s the real draw here.” Publisher’s Weekly
“Double Jinx is a stunning and vital debut collection. Nancy Reddy is a live wire who uses a knife-tip focus and intellect to filigree, with raw exactitude, issues of femininity and the domestic. To show the brutality of being the girl not chosen by the boy, as well as the cruelty that comes with being the girl who is chosen. Reddy’s range—the familial, fairy tale, myth and theology, popular culture—allow her poems to unravel and embody the seething mystery, the metamorphosis, the often inherent violence in womanhood.” Alex Lemon
A sampling of poems from Double Jinx: The Case of the Double Jinx (originally published in Anti– and selected for Best of the Net 2011), Fervent Missive (Boxcar), Lucy in Chrysalis (The Collagist), Lent (Memorious), and Bad Magic (Tupelo Quarterly, and selected for the Nasty Women Poets anthology, forthcoming).