Synopses & Reviews
In her debut poetry collection, Kelly Davio invites the reader into a world where sin is virtue and virtue is vice, where the ominous lingers just beneath the surface, and the everyday is imbued with the fantastic. In these intelligent, compassionate, and harrowing poems, Davio gives a modern voice to metaphysical tradition. The poems in this collection dismantle the specter and judgment of a life shaded by Judeo-Christian religious consciousness. Grounded in Davio’s radical religious childhood and subsequent break with the church, her writing examines the world from the viewpoint of the spiritual dissenter, questioning the mores and motivations of religion, family, and self. In sections that explore concepts of revelation, sin, and virtue, these poems tilt the world at uncharacteristic angles, revealing the ragged edges at the margins of belief. At times solemn, at times exuberant, Burn This House is an intense volume, its darkness lit by the flames of wit, intellect, and curiosity.
“Every page in Kelly Davio’s Burn This House lives up to the intensity of its title. Davio follows the tradition of Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience, exploring signs, revelations, sin, virtue, and judgment in this powerful, slim volume. Her poetry is, in the words of one of her poems, ‘ready to push its edge at the breather’s throat.’”—Shaindel Beers, author of A Brief History of Time and The Children’s War, editor of Contrary Magazine
“Kelly Davio’s Burn This House is a vivid, nuanced, beautifully organized, and wit-enriched debut. It is a dark book, but the darkness is illuminated throughout with the cool flames of ironic humor, and the brightest light arrives in the concluding sequence’s conflagration, the flaring out of the poetic house. But this collection is just the beginning—this compassionate and harrowing book promises more brilliance to come. Tongues of flame, anyone?”—Carolyne Wright, author of A Change of Maps and Mania Klepto: The Book of Eulene
“Here is a clear, fresh voice enhanced by first-rate craftsmanship. Kelly Davio gives us poems full of original surprises.”—David Wagoner
“Davio explores the erosion of faith, time, memory, and love with clear speakers who are unafraid to expose doubts and question the world…They speak in poems that sometimes pin us down like an older brother until we call uncle
or whisper soft doubts into our ears, making us question our own mothers.”
An intelligent, compassionate, and harrowing debut collection, Kelly Davio’s Burn This House gives modern voice to the metaphysical tradition, revealing the ragged edges at the margins of belief.
About the Author
Kelly Davio is Managing Editor of The Los Angeles Review, Associate Editor of Fifth Wednesday Journal, and a reviewer for Women’s Review of Books. She is a Pushcart nominee whose work has been honored in Best New Poets, edited by Kim Addonizio, and who has published poems in journals including Gargoyle, The Cincinnati Review, Bellingham Review, Pank,and others. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, Whidbey Writers’ Workshop, and teaches English as a second language in Seattle, Washington.