Reading: Courtney LeBlanc

I found the name Courtney LeBlanc continually showing up in journals I was reading. Eventually, it became a signal for submission: a journal who published her was one I wanted to be in. When I saw she’d published a chapbook with Bottlecap Press, I had to check it out because I love the press’s vibe and their “primary goal of emphasizing the alarmingly, frustratingly, artistically human.” Her book fits perfectly in their catalog.


All in the Family (Bottlecap Press, 2016)All in the Family

Structure: The chapbook is divided into three sections (Mother, Father, and Sister) and ends with a final separate poem.

Feelings while reading: Recognition. As in a knock down, I-know-what-you-did-last-summer, I’ve-got-pictures-to-prove-it familiarity. Checking out her website, I learned she grew up in the Midwest — was it down the road from me? Because I feel like I’ve been in the house of the family this book describes (whether it’s LeBlanc’s actual family, I do not know, but in many ways, the poems’ honesty make their reality irrelevant). As I read, I wanted to cry and smile and cry and hide in the corner and cry and rage. When I’d finished, I mainly reminisced (and cried a little).

Favorite poems: Mother, I Am, Siamese Sister

Favorite lines: “I find a piece of bone / not eaten by the flames. / I curl my fingers around it / I carry my father with me / as I walk away.” (Whole)


Final Thought: Check out this book and look forward (as I do) to her next chapbook, The Violence Within, out this year from Flutter Press.


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