I will be launching Muse Tuesday May 28th at 7pm at Biblioasis bookstore. All are welcome, unless you heckle—then please stay home.
Muse explores the concepts of influence, creativity, and gender by evoking the tragic figure of Elizabeth Siddal. As a model, then pupil, she married the Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and although an artist and poet in her own right, Siddal is best known as a Victorian muse and the inspiration for her husband’s paintings. In sensual and evocative language, Kresan holds nothing back, shifting voices and perspectives, and encompassing a wide range of emotions—from Siddal’s loss and heartbreak over her stillborn daughter to the poet’s lighthearted reproach of Hunt’s depiction of The Lady of Shalott. Compelling and inventive, Muse is a welcome debut.
“Kresan turns Robert Graves’ well-known words—“Woman is muse or she is nothing”—inside out and upside down. If Siddal has been seen as a Victorian supermodel, all surface and beauty, then Kresan complicates the perceptions, painting over pre-conceived notions, and refocusing attentions... [she] takes us on delightfully imaginative flights of fancy where her subject interacts with Marilyn Monroe, Sylvia Plath, Robert Graves and even the author herself.” —Shawna Lemay
“In her ambitious debut, Dawn Kresan turns a feminist legend inside out with ventriloquizing poems that voice Elizabeth Siddal’s anxieties and griefs so fiercely she seems to be writing for her own life.” —Carmine Starnino
“An absolute delight to lovers of ekphrasis, the pre-Raphaelites, and those interested in reclaiming the historical lives of often self-doubting, self-sacrificing and side-lined women. These voluptuous poems hum with invention, wit, and spot-on imagery, announcing the arrival of an accomplished poet.” —Ruth Roach Pierson