"Costumes Required" and "Sensual Vocabulary" at Ninth Letter
"The Devil Chains Me to the Microphone" at Witness
"Tennessee Wedding on VHS" at AGNI
"When Someone Says I Love You" at The Literary Review
Sarabande Books, 2017
"In her glittery, screwball second collection, McGlynn continues to play with the dark comedy afforded by this girly kitsch."
—The New York Times Book Review, "Five Poets Offer Eloquent Views of the American Experience"
“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.
Praise for Hothouse
“So you want to know where I live?” McGlynn beckons in her eponymous opener. “Come here, love.” Her second collection delivers, luring readers into a world bawdy yet bright, macabre yet full of magic... 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. In “The New Sincerity,” McGlynn conjures an “earnest anthem” to be “played on repeat all night long.” Get out your “two-tone shoes” and prepare to dance. This is that anthem.
—from Briana Shemroske's review for Booklist
"Hothouse surrounds the reader with familiar imagery, but like the familiarity of the concrete world, some of the shit we see is so damn scary. I settle in because the speaker invites me to be, expects me be, asks me to sit down across the kitchen table with her and have a drink about it. Come on girl, she says, real talk. Regardless of the room we're in, the speaker performs for us. There's a playfulness to it. God bless the South and the fierce, funny women it produces. McGlynn's wit is quick, it sears. I read these burns and think to myself, welcome to the thunderdome of womanhood, motherfuckers."
"McGlynn’s first book, the fabulous (and fabulously titled) “I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl,” proved that she belonged squarely in the Gurlesque, a loose group of female poets who — combining the burlesque and the grotesque — approach their femininity in a campy way, skewering gender stereotypes. Now, in her glittery, screwball second collection, McGlynn continues to play with the dark comedy afforded by this girly kitsch. The book is divided architecturally — bedroom, library, parlor, wet bar, bath and basement — for a wry and disquieting tour of American banality and excess."
"McGlynn embraces the spectacle that is the first-person pronoun as she probes the possibilities of a performative and narrative-driven voice. At its core, the collection is an exploration of 21st-century femininity and gendered experience, though the poems are peppered with early Hollywood tropes and reminiscences—not all fond—of girlhood and adolescence. Cameos by screen starlets such as Veronica Lake and Marlene Dietrich suggest that McGlynn seeks to interrogate and engage the male gaze as she participates in traditions of female burlesque."
“Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse walks a tightrope without a net, dazzling us with silver sequins and a daredevil grin. It’s a book perfectly balanced between precision and beautiful excess, populated with dames who take-no-prisoners and take-no-shit. These whip-smart, deliciously smutty poems tease out the art in artifice, and the comfort in camp, where love is a performance we can’t stop watching.”
“Karyna McGlynn has me. With these masterful, madcap soliloquies, she beguiles while daring me not to be beguiled. Sexy, yes, but land mined with skepticism, loneliness, and rage. McGlynn performs improvisation but the poems are crafty as hell. It’s a nimble knife act, and oh, the cuts! “If you loved me,” she writes, “you’d call this costume a costume.” Okay, it’s a costume, Karyna. I love you.”
—Diane Seuss, author of Four-Legged Girl
“When you go from the end of “Square Rooms,” heavy-hearted, straight into “In the Future No One Gets to Cry,” you’ll just die. Take it easy, that’s all I’m saying. This book will give you bad posture. There is so much hope in these poems. The hard, cold kind. The kind that builds up when we don’t use it right. Hothouse is a book of confessions, shiny and slippery. Read them one section at a time, out loud on the floor of your new bathroom, or in the tub. Look around at how unrecognizable everything is. Look closely for the two surfacing submarines in the arctic sea.”
“McGlynn’s rough and sensual poems work to peel away the layers of decorum and expose the messy, gorgeous, and necessary parts that make up the very foundation of being. Hothouse is a book that reads like a good boot-stomping country song in a place where you least expect it and at a time when you most need to hear it.”
“In Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse, the female body is axis mundi—the (un)holy center of a revolving universe made from intimate places and relationships. “Memory, if we’re lucky, is the one thing / we’ll never recover from,” writes McGlynn, and the imperfect unions in Hothouse implode with fireworks, tear along their seams, or quietly dissolve in “the bed’s sheath of late afternoon light.” McGlynn is a wild and audacious poet, toeing the line between pleasure and danger, wooing the devil himself and seducing the reader, too, with her magnetism, her lush language, her racy street-smarts.”
"McGlynn is a sharp and unflinching tour guide, and her poems shimmer with performative energy, wit, and grace. But behind her glittering masks lives a poet of deep humanity, even vulnerability, one whose fiercest gaze is directed outward, at us. No one gets to rest until we arrive in the basement in this sharp, memorable, and enormously intelligent collection."
“Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse uses Gurlesque architecture to break open the terrariums of gender in innovative ways. These are 21st century meditations on those intersections of violence, self-awareness, and performance that continue to orbit women like broken satellites. Unflinching and ingenuous, McGlynn masterfully undercuts our expectations of what these intransigents look like when we drag them out of the context of our confined, intimate spaces.”