Carrie McGath’s new chapbook, Dollface: Poem-Songs (self-published), is comprised of lyrical strains representing conversations between Surrealist artists, Hans Bellmer, Unica Zürn, and a voyeuristic speaker who enters their relationship. After studying the work of these artists and their tumultuous love affair that ended with Zürn jumping out of the window of Bellmer’s Paris apartment, these poem-songs started to come to life for McGath.
“Dark, playful, and startling, these poems read like a lucid dream hovering at the edge of nightmare; no, not nightmare. Ecstasy. They feel their way around staircases, ribcage muscles, gray smoke, rolling pins – oh, the “hard, cold, beautiful” rolling pin. McGath invites us to the recesses where bodies revise, scatter, retrograde, reify: ‘Touch,’ she writes, ‘Your hearts are hot.’ Indeed, there is much to feel, face, and reface in these irresistible pages.”
~~ Kathleen Blackburn, Essayist and PhD in the University of Illinois at Chicago Program for Writers
“In Dollface, someone is always looking–whether it be the artists conjured up in the poems, Hans Bellmer and Unica Zürn, or the “I” of a voyeuristic unnamed other who longs to be a part of their sensual and dangerous partnership. These poems brim with sex, longing, and a bristling imaginative eye. As readers, we are invited to gaze, too: deep into the heart of possession, sexual desire, and surreal art. This reader, for one, could not look away.”
~~ Annah Browning, author of The Marriage