Sarabande Books, 2017
“Playful, fun, and morbidly dark, McGlynn’s poetry takes readers through a journey of rogue justice and karma-balancing—the kind that only exists in the deepest annals of your subconscious.”
—Bustle, “15 of the Most Anticipated Poetry Collections of 2017”
“Throughout the collection, there’s a note of playful anarchy that punctuates American culture.”
—Signature Reads, “28 Breathtaking Poetry Books to Read Now”
"McGlynn is a seasoned performance poet, and these poems, whip-smart, crackling with candor, and pulsing with effervescent language and plush imagery, demand to be read aloud."
—Booklist's review of Hothouse
“Smart, original, spirited work.”
—Library Journal, “Five Poets To Watch: Fresh, Keen Work from Upcoming Writers”
Karyna McGlynn takes readers on tour through the half-haunted house of the contemporary American psyche with wit, whimsy, and candid confession. Disappointing lovers surface in the bedroom; in the bathroom, "the drained tub ticks with mollusks & lobsters;" revenge fantasies and death lurk in the basement where they rightly belong. With lush imagery and au courant asides, Hothouse surprises and delights.
The 9-Day Queen Gets Lost
on Her Way to the Execution
Acme Poem Company Surrealist Poetry Series from Willow Springs Books
It’s easy to throw around a word like “fierce” when discussing the unapologetic brashness of some up-and-coming female poets, but it’s something else entirely that keeps me returning to the surreal and sexy images that comprise Karyna McGlynn’s growing oeuvre.
—Pleiades Book Review
Karyna McGlynn’s The 9-Day Queen Gets Lost on Her Way to the Execution sends readers into a disruptive fervor. “There is an abundance of something in me,” one poem’s narrator confesses, “if only black bile.” McGlynn tangles word and flesh to stunning effect, tucking us under velvet curtains, while the gaslights flicker.
Available through Willow Springs Books.
I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl
winner of the 2008 Kathryn A. Morton Prize from Sarabande Books
I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is film noir set in verse, each poem a miniature crime scene with its own set of clues—frosted eye-shadow, a pistol under a horse’s eye, dripping window units, an aneurysm opening its lethal trap. In otherworldly vignettes, 1994 pairs the unreliable narration of Jacob’s Ladder (with its questions of identity and shifting realities) with the microscopic compulsiveness of Einstein’s Dreams. The book’s sense of hypnotic premeditation brings Donnie Darko to mind as well, as poem after poem scatters the breadcrumbs of a murder mystery leading us further away from the present self and deeper into the past. I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl is an astounding debut collection that will crawl under your skin and stay there.
Destructible Heart Press (2008). Sundress Press e-chap released in 2014.
Karyna McGlynn's chapbook Alabama Steve is a swirl of captivating Deep South truisms, borderline psychosis, fame, and poignant still-life. She employs an ambitious layering of realities with imagination, meaning that her characters are often tasked with clarifying their own realities. This gyroscopic consciousness volleys from small town porches to university offices to Ecuador, often meeting and re-meeting Alabama Steve himself. McGlynn displays anxiety, obsessive and misleading trains of thought which works with the gypsy-like world she has created where supposedly normal characters uncover the unknown at every turn. Truly, Alabama Steve has something for everybody. Conversations with famous authors and celebrities, Seuss-like advice, and elements of the erotic and the grotesque. Free download at Sundress Press. Read Rebecca Ellis' review for RATTLE here.
New Michigan Press (2007). Second edition released in 2013.
These are dark and playful, sometimes brutal, seemingly confessional poems. Here you will find: long electric hair, death by tetherball rope, sex, termite-infested houses, potato salads, prehistoric birds, body of missing teen found in family shed, a cousin's slender curling neck, and suburban barbarism, among much more.