PREORDER: TO DAUGHTER A DEVIL by Megan Mary Moore
To Daughter a Devil explores women in horror and the horror in being woman. Each poem puts a magnifying glass to the female body and uses the most beautiful and the most terrifying parts to paint a picture of growing up and learning to live with — and possibly love — the evil that lives inside of us.
Publication Date: 1/3/2023
Here’s a book of poems that you’ll have to read, walk away from, come back to, and say, “wow” over. Megan Mary Moore does not pull her punches, mixing adolescent girlhood, horror films, blood, bugs, sexual coming of age—all the things that so many look away from. But we can’t look away; girls get their periods, become fertile, age, die. Insects surround us, even if we don’t see them, contributing to the creation/destruction cycle, decomposing dead bodies, breaking down waste. Oh, and sometimes there is vomit. Read this book. It will worry you, in the old sense of the word.
-Kim Jacobs Beck, author of Torch
Megan Mary Moore’s new collection, To Daughter a Devil, is a work of relentless ferocity, pyrotechnical daring, and bleak honesty. Yet it’s neither plaintive nor solemn—her artistry is too dazzling, too unpredictable for that. This bravura edginess (its blood-drenched menace often interwoven with dark hilarity) is suited for her subject: a teenage girl dealing with the desires, fears, guilt, disgust, and imaginings intensified by the disturbing changes of her newly “woman’s” body. These are rendered in her visions, attractions, revulsions, dreams, and obsessions that invade the so-called “real world.” The first poem in the book sets the pattern, with the girl suffering through gym class as a demonic insect crawls over her while she (or it?) becomes a short-lived fertile moth quick to mate and bear offspring. In other trances she sees herself as the child-bride raped by Satan in The Exorcist, the mother of Rosemary’s Baby, one of the Puritan child-accusers of a witch, a victim of rapists drawn by her pubescent innocence, a blood-craving insect that awakes in Gregor Samsa’s bed, a bath-mate with Aphrodite, rescuer of a corpse-eating cat, a deer killed on the road, and bathroom cleaner for the seven dwarfs.
—Mark Louis Lehman, author of Long Falling Light and Twenty Small Worlds
In her second collection, Megan Mary Moore leads us through a suburban gothic realm where the devil is a woman who haunts the basements of our brains and the neighborhoods of our viscera. We learn the devil is not a dark angel, but a force forcing us to grow into those most terrifying of creatures: adults. Here, where JonBenet Ramsey is a “grocery store saint” and where, more than our own mortality, we fear we might ourselves be evil, or worse, we fear we might like being evil, Moore drags us through the bleeding mud to discover the holiness we find in being our most beastly. She lays the horror and politics of a woman’s body on a dissection table and teaches us every nuance until we’re sick of being who we are, until we’re terrified to the point of loving ourselves again.
-Marcus Whalbring, author of How To Draw Fire