Red Mother – BOOK


Red Mother
by Laurel Radzieski
Published by
NYQ Books


Winner of the 2020 Whirling Prize in Poetry awarded by University of Indianapolis’ Etchings Press

Sometimes we all feel as if our relationships consume us. In Red Mother Laurel Radzieski weaves a love story told from the perspective of a parasite. This series of short poems explores the intimacy, desire and devotion we all experience by following the sometimes tender, often distressing relationship that emerges between a parasite and its host. Radzieski’s poetry is playful, though often with sinister undertones. Far from romanticizing either role, Red Mother takes readers on a tour of their own innards, exposing the hooks and claws of all involved. Following the parasite’s life cycle, the book blurs the line between science and poetic license to create a fantastical romp not for the squeamish. Although parasites are not known as conversationalists, Radzieski’s guest has a lot to say.

Get your copy of today.
NYQ Books
Small Press Distribution

Live in Northeastern Pennsylvania? Buy the book at these local stores:
Library Express Bookstore, Scranton, PA
Comics on the Green, Scranton, PA

What People Are Saying

“For a metaphor to work it needs to be real and Laurel Radzieski, in Red Mother, gives voice to an all too real parasite. A cross between Kafka and a horror film, these concise, concrete poems slowly burn until they overtake us through profound recognition. Dare we call her parasite love?”
Kenny Fries, author of In the Province of the Gods and In the Gardens of Japan

“In these compact folds, curls of words on page in coiled small shapes, host body becomes night sky and increasingly intimate terms flex gut songs. Germ fable churns in compositional allegory, and a Frankenstein story is rescaled and mutates on the level of cell and issue. Laurel Radzieski is a wildly original poet in this purging of confusion and charges with whom or what speaks through what we or one carries around in the cosmos inside.”
Douglas A. Martin, author of In the Time of Assignments and Acker

“Halfway through Laurel Radzieski’s Red Mother she writes, ‘There are so many ways to tell this story, / all sickening. / So much of who we are / requires purging.’ With that idea in mind, there are many ways to read this inventive and complex collection of short poems that take on the life cycle of a parasite. The poems are at once scientific and fantastical but can easily be a metaphor for our own dependent relationships. Radzieski’s sparse style brings a sharp cleanness to a rather messy topic.”
Stephen S. Mills, author of He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices and A History of the Unmarried