Nadia de Vries' debut collection opens with the standard disclaimers: "These poems are a work of fiction.The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination". Yet what arises from the author’s imagination is a world of reclaimed fairy tales, a “technological sublime,” the fine arts rendered into the dark arts, and girlhood engineered as a contagion, insinuating itself into the sickly heart of the patriarchy to launch its fatal attack. Dark Hour is a countdown in verse, to that moment when the author’s imagination reveals itself as our new reality, and during which we learn to fine-cut poetry into pocket knives and poison. May your fears become abundant like girls.
- Mia You, author of I, Too, Dislike It (1913 Press, 2016)
Dark Hour collects forty-five epigrammatical, elusive poems; while often pointed, pithy and direct, the voice speaks from a kind of torpor. It’s solitary, bereft, ingrown, prone to gothic moments (angels and vampires flit past the curtains) – as if a childhood fever was prolonged into adolescence, when desire made itself available through movie tropes. In this convalescent atmosphere, an exterior perspective is imagined, and out of her perceived weakness, the speaker manufactures an image of her “cuteness.”
- Sam Riviere, The Poetry Review
Dutch poet Nadia de Vries’s debut collection, Dark Hour captures the plight of poets writing in the digital age. Often composing scenes involving sickness, lassitude, abandonment, and death, she pokes fun at the seriousness of these themes, as though playfully provoking them to bite her. Not unlike Rimbaud, she bears witness to great social upheavals — although hers are domestic rather than militaristic. The minutiae of interpersonal frustrations occasion images of spiritual conflict, which are condensed into laconic, jewel-like poems, many not more than six or seven lines.
- Jeffrey Grunthaner, Hyperallergic
De Vries has a gorgeous knack for openings and closings: a first line that knocks you out with a bare honesty, a confession, and a final line that flips it on its head.
- Yael van der Wouden, wildness
Nadia de Vries works with a delicate yet direct language throughout Dark Hour. Her ability to balance the beautiful and brutal feels exciting. Within a single line she wants to inflict violence yet receives a blessing. By letting each small poem work akin to a fragment of a greater whole, at times the collection feels akin to the the pointillism technique of painting.
- Beach Sloth
Nadia de Vries lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dark Hour is her first full-length book.
Dimensions: 5 x 8 inch
Cat No: DW-395
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