Ever After the End Matter by Sarah Ann Winn is a gem from Pork Belly Press that has a hauntingly beautiful and fairy-tale like consistency that spans about 20 poems. Each piece is strong enough to stand on its own, though with the chapbook's careful construction, every piece works together to contribute to the whole.
Ever After the End Matter starts off strong with a series of snips titled "Exhibition Catalogue from the Grimm Forest Open Air Museum" and appropriately ends with a series of Appendix pieces. The chapbook offers an impressive variety of forms, notably in the above and in "Seven Reasons to Sew Shirts for Swans."
Winn also hits us with strong images and leads us down a path of precise word choice:
"See how centuries/ old houses crumble, / the futile words hurled / after the gone away, / the empty ever after" ("Exhibition Catalogue from the Grimm Forest Open Air Museum: Activity, page 10.")
"Even as the sky goes into pieces / they are glad for the fog / wear shawls and long sleeves to conceal their stories" ("Witch's Market Souvenir Snow Globe")
"The old woman once joked once with a baker about / going back to school for a degree in architecture, so she could / build gingerbread houses with open floor plans" ("Appendix Char")
This collection of potent poems will linger with you long after you close the book and put it back on the shelf.
Find the book here.
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Cover art by Alexandra Eldridge.