"Alessandra Bava's They Talk About Death, the Italian poet and translator's American publishing debut, is a visually stunning piece of art. The book is handmade, ribbon-bound, and is crafted with brightly colored and textured paper. Erin Wells' cover art, "Yellow Carousel Horse," marches lockstep with the content of the collection, resembling, in skull form, a mash-up of Sylvia Plath's portrait and the horse her greatest work is named for, Ariel."
"They Talk About Death also takes risks in that it may seem to glorify suicide in lines like, "Suicidal Light demands worship" from "Our Lady of Napalm," a violent re-imagining of Anne Sexton. This worship, which gestures back to the old trope of a woman's beauty being perfected in death, dates to Hamlet's Ophelia and even further. The book borrows from history in this way, and is merciless at times in its treatment of subjects; while in mourning, the author simultaneously praises and curses figures for dying at their own hands. Salome is cited as an example of a woman who is a murderer rather than a victim and Bava praises her for it: "One day, when [John's] head will turn to skull, she'll make a lamp of it for her own enlightenment and write chiaroscuro poems."
A few samples from Sandy Marchetti's in depth new Review of "They Talk About Death" by Alessandra Bava (Blood Pudding Press, 2014).
Read the review in its entirety within the new Menacing Hedge (and while there, read more of the new Menacing Hedge innards too) here - http://www.menacinghedge.com/fall2014/review-marchetti.php
Then consider purchasing Bava's chapbook from the Blood Pudding Press shop here - https://www.etsy.com/listing/195585261/halloween-they-talk-about-death-by?ref=shop_home_feat_2
(P.S. It is not too late to receive a special discount of 25% off this chapbook and other Blood Pudding Press offerings. Just enter Coupon Code HALLOWEEN25 when you make your purchase.)