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Book Review :: Flare, Corona by Jeannine Hall Gailey

Flare, Corona by Jeannine Hall Gailey book cover image

Guest post by Jami Macarty

The coronae that flare in Flare, Corona, by Jeannine Hall Gailey, allude to solar explosions, coronavirus infections, cancer scare symptoms, and multiple sclerosis diagnosis. Put another way, the poems deal with exposure and contamination; after all, we “can only hold death at bay for so long.” Preoccupied with calamity, “downed planes, traffic accidents and plain old bad luck,” our narrator is “a person who looks for the dark side” and “can’t stop writing the apocalypse story over and over.” At least she has, and the poems benefit from, a sense of humor, dark though it may be. The collection reads like a survivor’s how-to manual for scenarios like a “zombie apocalypse” and “what to do when you get the diagnosis you may not survive.” Neither comedy nor gravity matter when the “truth is, there is no final secret, there is no formula to save us” from whatever “sudden instability” will cause our demise. Despite life’s supervillains and death’s close calls, Jeannine Hall Gailey is “dancing in the flames, arms raised high,” rejoicing in the “part of us radiant.”

Flare, Corona by Jeannine Hall Gailey. Boa Editions, Ltd., May 2023

Reviewer bio: Jami Macarty is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. Jami’s writing has been honored by financial support from Arizona Commission on the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and by editors at magazines such as The Capilano Review, Concision Poetry Journal, Interim, Redivider, Vallum, and Volt, where Jami’s poems appear. More at https://jamimacarty.com/

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