“Throughout [BLUD], McKibbens breathes brilliant life into language, forging lush, rhythmic poems that are both fiercely urgent and tightly controlled, dark and flickering with fairy-tale-like magic. . . . Stunning, unflinching, fearless.”―Booklist Starred Review
“Chicana poet, activist, and witchy folk hero of the disenfranchised. . . . [McKibbens] creates these spaces of witness with her feral and boundary-pushing poems that speak unflinchingly of topics often swept under the rug: rape, domestic violence, body shaming, mental illness, prejudice.”–Ploughshares
“McKibbens, a pioneer in the art of performance poetry, presents her audience [with] selfless honesty.”–The Rumpus
“Rachel McKibbens . . . reminds us why poetry as testimony is so necessary.” –Poetry Foundation
McKibbens’s blud is a collection of dark, rhythmic poems interested in the ways in which inherited things–bloodlines, mental illnesses, trauma–affect their inheritors. Reveling in form and sound, McKibbens’s writing takes back control, undaunted by the idea of sinking its teeth into the ugliest moments of life, while still believing–and looking for–the good underneath all the bruising.
From “untitled (lost love)”
To my daughters I need to say:
Go with the one who loves you biblically.
The one whose love lifts its head to you
despite its broken neck. Whose body
bursts sixteen arms electric
to carry you, gentle the way
old grief is gentle.
Love the love that is messy
in all its too much . . .
Rachel McKibbens is a poet, activist, playwright, essayist, and two-time New York Foundation for the Arts poetry fellow. She is the author of four books and founder of The Pink Door, an annual writing retreat open exclusively to women of color. She lives in Rochester, New York.