Thanks so much to Amy Strauss Friedman and Joanna Valente for their words! 🙂
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens’ poems in The Messenger is Already Dead hang heavy with history, weaving past and present into a single entity that drips with atmospheric pain felt on a female wavelength. Joan of Arc factors heavily, as our existence is based in part on her struggle and sacrifice. “She blends into the walls,” the author tells us, “she pelts an asterisk/ at the English dictionary.” Here, birthmarks on babies signal stains of the past bleeding into the present. MacBain-Stephens’ collection is an exquisite puzzle formed from time’s continuum, and our resistance to it; a unique perspective on the imperative to listen to the echoes of yesterday.
—Amy Strauss Friedman, author of Gathered Bones are Known to Wander
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens is a master at crafting a storyline through verse. She weaves together pop culture, modernity, and iconic historical figures to comment on gender identity, violence, and the search for the self. I love the conversational language smartly enmeshed in beautiful, strange images. MacBain-Stephens is a writer to follow for the years to come.
—Joanna C. Valente, author of Marys of the Sea