Author: Candace Nola
Publisher: Uncomfortably Dark
Genre: Horror Poetry/Dark Poetry
Why You Should Read It
A dark, beautiful collection of femme focused horror poetry.
Why I Liked It
Dark poetry, particularly femme focused collections with a central theme, are becoming a new favorite of mine in the horror genre. I was already familiar with the wonderful Candace Nola through her novels BISHOP and THE UNICORN KILLER as well as her work promoting indie horror on Uncomfortablydark.com. So when I saw she was coming out with her own collection of dark poetry, I jumped on it faster than a praying mantis on a cricket, and let me tell ya, you should too.
Disclaimer: Unmasked truly explores some dark themes that are usually taboo to discuss in polite company, but things that we all struggle with and think about nonetheless. Heartbreak, loneliness, disappointment, hurt and despair are the central themes of these 34 poems, each painted with a bleak brush dripping with blood. Candace doesn’t hold back on the way it feels to be hurt again and again by someone you love, with poems like “Notches” showing that scars can be bone-deep.
Empty Vessel was another favorite of mine, a poem that deals with the aftermath of a breakup or the loss of someone in your life. This is perhaps one of my favorite stanzas from the collection:
“I’ve said goodbye, I’ve made my peace. You were never mine, just a lease.”
The poems UNMASKED highlight what happens when a person lets their mask drop; their mask of sanity, the one that they put on for other people’s sake. Candace gives us a glimpse on the dark and often destructive thoughts that we all have as humans when we feel like our life is falling apart, when we have nothing left to give and no more hope to hold on to. Her final poem in the collection, Phoenix, shows that there is hope in the darkness, beauty in pushing through the discomfort and the pain, and wraps up Unmasked and all of its central themes beautifully.
“From the ashes, embers glow. Phoenix still. Phoenix grows.”
Check out Candace Nola’s collection UNMASKED and get ready to see what’s hiding behind the curtain.
Other Dark Poetry Recs by Women:
Lady of the House and The Lies We Weave by Grace R. Reynolds
Every Poem a Potion, Every Song a Spell by Stephane Parent
Into the Forest and All the Way Through by Cynthia Pelayo
Ariel by Sylvia Plath