A Review of White Noise & Ouija Boards: An Anthology of Ghosts & Hauntings, Edited by Kate Garrett and Caroline Hardaker

We’re all haunted by something. 

I remember trying to score an apology out of a dead relative once a few years ago using a Ouija board. Sure, I was terribly intoxicated and in trying to conjure this sorry soul, my wobbly fingers harassed the Ouija board more than they invited the dead to speak. But that’s another story – and it didn’t find itself in this book, which offers a broad selection of work by various poets and storytellers.

I went into reading this anthology assuming it would mostly creep me out – and it did, but in equal measure it implored me to wonder what the haunted had done to earn the attention of the ghosts, or why they were the ones chasing after or trying to catch these spirits.

The collection opens with Kitty Coles’ “On the Capturing of Ghosts”, where she elaborates how to jar these souls and send them to the dirt where they were meant to be.

Then call him by name, the syllables
that still shape him, and invite him to taste:
ghosts are grateful for invitations.

It’s a cold poem to open with, and fitting considering humans are as guilty as ghosts in acting with trickery. The poem sets the tone for the book, suggesting an urgency for acknowledgement.

Further in, Carole Bromly offers “Reincarnation”, a short poem that lingers on and on with stunning imagery and the sort of alliteration that tempts intimacy:

When I come back it will be as a watch.
I will rest on the wrist of a woman
who barely glances at me
though I’m warmed by the thud
of her pulse.

As expected, there’s also plenty of stories to make your skin crawl and endings that’ll leave you a bit leery to walk into the fog. But there’s much more than what could be assumed by its title. There’s something for everyone in White Noise & Ouija Boards: beautiful language colliding with frightening metaphors; storytelling curving from soft memories to stark realizations; and carefully crafted confusion tripping the plotlines.

Kate Garrett and Caroline Hardaker have tied a fantastic collection of work together that’s both cohesive and unpredictable.

White Noise and Ouija Boards is available from Three Drops Press.

- Rachel Nix

No comments:

Post a Comment

The views and opinions expressed throughout belong to the individual artists and may or may not coincide with those of the other artists (or editors) represented within the magazine. Hobo Camp Review supports a free-for-all atmosphere of artistic expression, so enjoy the poetry, fiction, opinions, and artwork within, read with an open mind, and comment wisely. Thanks for stopping by the Camp!