Cadence: voix féminines, Female Voices is a compilation of poetry from twenty-five female New Brunswick authors with diverse styles and distinct cultural backgrounds, including French, Vietnamese, German and Arabic. Editors Kayla Geitzler and Elizabeth Blanchard brilliantly produced a chapbook that evokes feelings of empathy, resilience, empowerment, liberation, and self-awareness from a female perspective.
This collection is a dactylic combination of poetry and prose that is as diverse as its authors. An articulate mixture of writing styles has just enough use of metaphors and pathetic fallacy to describe the trials and tribulations of humankind beginning from birth and ending with death. In this particular case, the issues women encounter i.e., loss of innocence, youth, virginity, child, parent, and self with underlying tones of misogyny, devastation, regret, disappointment, and grief tend to be overpowering which makes it difficult to devour this book in one seating.
A cultural patch-work quilt of verse that is mainly translated to English allows its audience to ride the highest tides in the world, to relive youthful joyrides, be named after a cloud “Cumulus congestus or cumulonimbus/Heaped, fibrous, anvil topped.” (Steel, pp. 37), feel the drumbeats of mother earth and watch a father’s dying soul carried away by “black talons spread/ at dawn/ my father’s last whisper/ hawr hawr hawr/ his raven took flight” (Bowman, pp.100)
Readers can peer through the eyes of those struggling with loyalty to self vs family and religious, sins of the father, belittlement, and the tearing away of innocence and how the subject chooses to succumb or rise above.
Loss seems to be the most prevalent theme between the covers of this extra-large chapbook beautifully illustrated by Nancy King Schofield. “The Night Mares” suits the ghostly cover illustration perfectly, as Vanessa Moeller refers to buried “cannon bone, pastern, coffin bone” that are “lost under pine and coyotes’ throated hunger.” (pp.69). This selection leaves the reader wondering if this is a metaphorical loss of one’s self as a result of a woman broken down by society or the loss of nature and ecology on a grand scheme.
This collection would be perfect on the curriculum of an advanced art literature course but may prove intimidating to the novice reader. It is the type of collection that, read more than once, would find new meaning each time, based on the reader’s self-reflection within the pages and may cause triggers for some. The task of reviewing the works of genius from these phenomenal female authors and editors was daunting, but their cadence beat strong and loud and needs to be revibrated to more voices.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
- Cadence may be purchased directly from Frog Hollow Press.
- Edition of 135 copies. 150 pages*
- ISBN 978-1-926948-92-8
- Published: 2020