Cover art by Andrea Kowch
This collection of persona poems reimagines characters from mythology, folklore, fairy tales, and pop culture from the perspective of their daughters—daughters we don’t expect such individuals to have, as we don’t think of Bigfoot, the Mad Hatter, or Medusa as parents. Taking on such topics as aging, rebellion, loss, domestic violence, homelessness, and sexual and gender identity, the voices of Daughters aim to turn the reader’s conceptions of the characters on their ends and throw light upon what it means for a girl to come out from under her parents as a woman of her own making.
Daughters will be published by Airlie Press in September, 2021. Selected poems can be read in the publications linked below.
Advance praise for Daughters:
“Before we are women, we are daughters, clothed in the superstitions of others and shaped by beliefs, talents, interests, and traumas that are not our own. Brittney Corrigan knows this. She knows how much the present depends upon the past and knows, too, that the truest work of growing up for a girl lies in sloughing off that which does not belong to you in pursuit of that which does. The poems in this stunning collection delve deeply into the highly empathetic gesture of persona, embodying the daughters of characters from history, the headlines, and mythology to trace how we are formed and how we, in turn, shed and gather into our own unique selves. With luminous language, arresting imagery, surprising form, and a marrow-deep knowledge of love and loss, the poet shines in this excavation of context and identity, this praise song for the stretching of limbs toward the light—and for the irrepressible essence of girls becoming. A beautiful, unforgettable work of artful love.”
— Stacey Lynn Brown
“Beyond the cleverness of these vividly specific, playfully imagined persona poems—which draw from the language of professions like taxidermy to time travel to the Minotaur—are Corrigan’s deft insights into human emotions, and the array of ways we understand ourselves and who we come from. “We sing / for the same reason cranes sing, / or the deepening whales, / or a whole fierce chorus of wolves,” Siren’s Daughter says, correcting male hubris, in one of my favorites. Corrigan creates an original and brilliantly fierce chorus.”
“Brittney Corrigan is a sorceress of voices. Never have I read persona poems as deeply true and wholly convincing as the ones gathered in this stunning collection. In poem after poem, Corrigan shape-shifts—now the daughter of a magician’s assistant, a surgeon, a seismologist, the Medusa, the Yeti, and more—mining history, myth, fairy tales, and the professions to explore the conceit of daughterhood. By the time I got to end of this gorgeous book, with all its richly imagined lives, I felt in the presence of a great daughterly chorus, one that tells us, “the story of [our] own longing.” Revelatory, authentic, and moving, Daughters tears off the masks, taking us to the heart of what it means to be female, human, and alive.”