What Dread — Book Review by Norene Cashen Smith
What Dread is a little chapbook with big ideas, great sensitivity and boundless wonder. Zilka Joseph’s last book, Lands I Live In, looked inward to her cultural identity and what it means to experience the duality of being from two different places: the U.S. and India.
This new collection sets its gaze outward as it contemplates oceans, wild animals and warrior women. Sometimes witty and sharp as the tooth of one of her tigers, other times ruthlessly piercing as the scorpion’s sting, Joseph is one of those who writes poems because she must. In her verses, there’s a palpable struggle. Each shining line is hard won, not only through work and examination, but also by a mad and fearless search for truth.
Still, there’s a beautiful friction, a different kind of duality in these poems, as Joseph’s identification with what is untamed and wild is illuminated by the mythological glow of goddesses and the transcendent glories of love.
A mix of romance, feminism, dream and archetype, What Dread is a tiny door into vast and “wild places.”
You can click here to purchase the book through Amazon. You can also use the comments to ask any questions that you may have for the author, and I will forward them on to her.