The Poetry Box®

Excoriation

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Excoriation

by Rebecca Smolen

Excoriation is an honest, thought-provoking exploration via poetry, into motherhood, relationships, heartache, love, and the cosmos. Rebecca Smolen shares her experiences in a way that’s meant to dig a little deeper, delving into each wound until nothing but truth remains. Through evocative metaphor and verse, Smolen challenges her readers to let these poems get under their skin, even if it hurts a little, for this is where healing begins.

 

About the Author

Author Photo: Rebecca Smolen
cr: Katie Guinn

Rebecca Smolen is a writer based in Portland, Oregon transplanted from New Hampshire in 2014, and is a mom of two adorable little gingers. She grew up on a dead-end road exploring drainage pipes and pond life. She has a strong feminist voice that sometimes gets trapped within society’s confines, but vows to teach her son and daughter that there are no confines.

Smolen has a degree in creative writing and philosophy and works as veterinary technician. She is trained and certified in the Gateless Method and leads writing workshops employing this method, which was scientifically created to avoid provoking the fight or flight reaction generating a safe place to produce raw, new writing that will spotlight the strongest aspects of that material.

Her first chapbook, Womanhood and Other Scars was published by The Poetry Box in 2018. Her poetry and essays can be found most recently in Allegory Ridge, Feminine Collective, Tiny Seed, The Inflectionist Review, Unchaste Anthologies, Hip Mama, Mutha Magazine, VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices & visions, The Poeming Pigeon: Cosmos, and the anti-fascist anthology, Shout.

Early Praise for Excoriation:

When you stare long enough into darkness, you fabricate what you may need; what might need you. Smolen’s compelling work does this enticing dance across the pages. Each piece falls into its own structure, rhythm—a movement that calls out to them. Wanting them, needing them in just the perfect two-step to make your eyes follow them from moving through “water” to the “beyond.” In this intricate dance with words, Rebecca leaves us wrapped in possibilities of what love looks like in self and the love tango with others.

—Nastashia Minto, Poet/Author of Naked

Rebecca Smolen’s Excoriation is part declaration and part dream of a travel in the honesties of existence. From the spark that is “My Call to Verse,” to the inner and outer travel of “{Body as Home},” to the closing call to endlessness that is “Moribund Happiness,” this collection invites the reader to experience unalloyed entanglements of history, agency, anger, and love, and of hope that can reside at heart.

—John Miller, founder of Portland Ars Poetica

In Rebecca Smolen’s Excoriation, you experience alchemy, the transformation of a woman’s raw loss into a dance, a music, a clear vision, “how the stars/are brightest in the northeast in winter.” In poems addressed to her lost love, she remembers the first goodbye after the first kiss, how it “became the new snow smell/mixed with the smoke from each chimney,” and you feel that relationship char in words, “raw and still bloody.” Smolen’s poems are “heavy with the life [she knows she has] needed to release.” In rich language and provocative shapes, her poems are generous acts, each a form of healing, “to fall first,/ to shine… to know how to rain,” their “purpose to ease another’s” pain. Read these brave poems to understand that the world “is merely attempting to find its own way back” through the mystery and science of this writer’s voice.

—Kate Gray, author of Carry the Sky
and For Every Girl: New & Selected Poems

 Book Details:

ISBN: 978-1-948461-67-2 | 126 pp. | paperback

 


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