Creature Feature_DESIGN ONE_5.12.15

About the Book:

Ruth Foley’s masterful second collection emerges from the black-and-white shadows of the Golden Age of Horror, but these missives to characters we all know and, on occasion, love, refuse to cease their interrogations with nostalgic bromides or simplistic answers. The monsters here are not merely others; they are us, performed with a meticulous attention to history and detail that rivals our best auteurs. In Creature Feature, the artifice of makeup, lighting, and poetry set the stage for a tour de force like Richard Hugo’s 31 Letters and 13 Dreams, but in Foley’s work, the letters are collective dreams where the speaker, as if removing makeup, slowly reminds us that ugliness—like that of Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolf Man, or the proverbial villagers—is as much performance as an ingénue’s pre-ordained gestures of beauty. Indeed, what is most beautiful about these poems is not what we’ve been taught to expect as beautiful, but the furious empathy that sings to the lonely, tired Karloff as well as the children who slick their hair to become like Bela Lugosi. These are love letters that help us love ourselves—no matter how monstrous we mistake ourselves for being. —Les Kay, author of The Bureau

Creature Feature is like the collection of letters I might have written if I understood real life as a child. These characters, these recipients, have haunted our culture for so long, they’re taken for granted. That is, until Ruth Foley gets hold of them. Here, they are tangible, true creatures, human, taken from tales and given new life in poetry.  Sit down with Creature Feature one night when “The world is mad around you, spinning/ like a windmill’s blades,” meet the villagers, wind your way through a collection anchored in the magic of our very real imaginations. —Sarah Ghoshal, authorof Changing the Grid