- Jaclyn Dwyer’s The Bride Aflame explores—with imagination, earned wisdom, and searing wit—what it means to be a woman: to be a girl in her inescapable body; to be a lover and a wife; to be a daughter and then to raise them. These poems confront the worst horrors of womanhood—domestic violence, rape, the loss of a child—but they also revel in its possibilities. As Dwyer writes, “I make and I am.” This is a mantra for mother and poet alike.
- Girls, women, wives, daughters—Jaclyn Dwyer investigates what it is to be female in this moment in time. Her language is lush, words cascading and undulating in images that paint a world in all its terrible beauty. But we have to look because fire illuminates as it burns, and Dwyer's women are on fire with being anorectics, zombies, someone who will stub a lit cigarette on her own hand. They are exes, brides, and finally mothers, creating a new body of flesh out of the old. A gorgeous debut.