Paperback Price: $15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-882295-87-6

Selected Poem

Bella in the Wych Elm

She through the rootlets.
She murked by moss.
She in its whelm.

She the owl in the tree
trunk’s mouth stretched
to canvas a scream.

She the taffeta still
in her teeth.

She slight in the night’s dark
peignoir, eyes on the sky
so long stars disappear.

She flesh left
for the air to edit.
She year after year.

First, she gold rush of hair
as she collapse, light
avalanche from the hands
that ferried her there.

She slung on his arm
and set—an epaulette.

She first dragged
down the woods’ brusque
tangent, first taken
from the tousled ground.

She a splurge—scarved
and sexed. She slim consent.
She the throat’s spangled
cackle and choke.

She first in the trysted park.
She in his arms his lips the grass.
Through the rootlets.
Murked by moss.
In its whelm.
She our sleep
thrashed and thrummed.

She spurns our nerves,
she trips our veins.
She missing reel,
we scratch the blanks.

She for his mantel.
She for your mantel.
She my trinket too.

Heart First Into the Forest

“[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

“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.”
Publishers Weekly

“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.”
—Joel Brouwer

“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

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