Heart First into the Forest
Heart First into the Forest
“Gnall’s debut takes such delight in the musicality of language that at times it is enough to simply hear her lines…[she] threads the lyric through the fantastic, creating a collection that is as boisterous and stark as it is macabre.”
Available in print.
Stacy Gnall is the author of Heart First into the Forest. She earned her undergraduate degree at Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA at the University of Alabama, and she is currently pursuing her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California. Her work has previously appeared in The Cincinnati Review, The Florida Review, The Gettysburg Review, Indiana Review, The Laurel Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio she now lives in Los Angeles.
“[Stacy] Gnall’s voice emerges…with such sharp wit, haunting images, and masterful use of rhythm and sound, it is a voice in contemporary poetry that must be heard.”
—Boxcar Poetry Review
“…Heart First Into the Forest…may just be that rare find in contemporary poetry: an utterly original work that manages to eschew weirdness to find real wisdom.”
—Thom Dawkins, Weave Magazine
“In this debut collection, Stacy Gnall sends out filament after filament of sound and sense, weaving webs of music and meaning which never fail to surprise me with their strength and subtlety. It’s a rare pleasure to discover a young poet, or any other kind, so fully in possession of her craft.”
“Stacy Gnall’s brilliant debut collection, Heart First Into the Forest, explores those timeless yet inexplicable mysteries of worldly (and some other-wordly) transformations as they first emerge and then—all too often—continue to haunt our lives. These poems echo the childhood fears and adolescent fevers stoked by both the growing knowledge of sexuality and the violence we find erupting in fable and fairy tale. With her exquisite lyric delicacy, Stacy Gnall brings a constant music and a candid, luminous perspective to every poem. This is a forest whose intricate darkness—whether of family or desire, the poet knows we will inevitably be shown over and over again. It is a darkness lit, of course, only by the heart.”
—David St. John
“Heart First Into the Forest intoxicates with high altitude, mesmerizing, razor eloquence. Gnall’s debut is a tightrope of risky equipoise, of embodied metaphor, bristling insight and gut. One reads with held breath. Here are brides that can’t marry, magicians, mirrors, howls, strange trees. The book, part fairy-tale, part witchcraft, part female Poe, is a rare elixir of wonder and violence.”
—Susan McCabe, author of Descartes’ Nightmare
More by Stacy Gnall: