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Voodoo for the Other Woman

Angela Kelly

Hub City Press
$14.95 paperback
5 ½ x 8 ½  
80 pages
March 1, 2013

In this collection of largely narrative poems about relationships, a narrator offers glimpses of her parents’ hardscrabble marriage in the Appalachia of the 1960s, her own coming of age in the 1970s, and her young marriage and its subsequent unraveling in the 1980s. In the aftermath and in the more current decades, new relationships emerge and others are resolved.


“ ‘Oh, please let’s not explain too much,’ the title of one of the knockout poems in Angela Kelly’s riveting first collection, could be the mantra for most of the book. There is loss, anger, pain, disappointment, betrayal, and in rare, long-hoped-for moments, tenderness and vulnerability, and, yes, even love. But there is no explaining. Kelly’s poems sit there on the glass shelf of the page, faceted as crystal: intact they are lovely; in pieces, they can be deadly. Like salt, you can rub them into wounds. Or you can use them to season what gives you sustenance. ‘Stay vigilant,’ Kelly writes, ‘the grass will always grow.’ Pay attention to this poet. She’ll show you the ordinary is anything but.” —Anita Skeen, author of The Resurrection of the Animals
“I’ve been jealous of Angela Kelly’s wise, flirty, smart-mouthed poems since she won our chapbook prize, hands down, more than a decade ago. Voodoo for the Other Woman is long overdue but worth the wait. From the hexes and vexations of the title poem all the way through to the cheesy seduction of the last cowboy bar, this book is a journey that hurts so good. The poems are tough, knowing, sensual, disappointed, vindicated, regretful, painfully funny—they’re not afraid of a romp in the hay or roll in the mud, whatever. The writing’s wired, the mojo strong. Sit back, surrender, and enjoy.”
—Gaylord Brewer, editor, Poems & Plays
"Angela Kelly's voice is like that of no other poet I know: bold but vulnerable, tender but full of spit and venom. The poems erupt from a heart that is broken again and again--in childhood, marriage, and a barrage of losses--yet they come to us with complete agility and a sense of humor intact. If this is voodoo, bring it on!" —Susan Laughter Meyers, author of Keep and Give Away
"Angela Kelly writes with swagger and bravado; she writes too with grace and intelligence. In reading these passionate poems I come under the spell of a savvy guide--someone who can tell a good story, speak the truth and dodge the obstacles thrown in her path." —Sebastian Matthews, author of Miracle Day: Mid-Life Songs