Our latest chapbook was a little unexpected. Things started when Chelsea Bodnar streamed herself reading poetry from some Grey Book Press chapbooks on her Facebook page. I thanked her and, soon after, saw a video she had streamed of her reading her own work. Honestly, I hadn’t been watching as many poetry-reading videos (or “attending” live readings) as I should have during the pandemic, so I set aside the time to watch hers. And I’m so glad I did.
The poems seemed to be set in a post-apocalyptic world, at once terrible and beautiful. There was a focus on precise language, as well as some dark humor. She mentioned that these pieces comprised a chapbook . . . one with no home. So I asked to read it and offered to give it a home.
Only after reading a second time and corresponding with Chelsea did I realize that the poems all take place in the world of first-person shooter video game BioShock. Not having played that game, I wasn’t familiar with all the clues and specific characters that inhabit the poems. None of that changed my feeling about the collection, but I’m sure knowing the game would help deepen one’s connection and make it easier to visualize the scenes she sets.
All of this is to say, it’s a fun read and you should pick one up on the Titles page.
“you forget / every bad thing / you’ve done // the good things / you’ve thought / about doing // as you sift through the pockets / of the dead // and slip bandoliers / from their shoulders / like nightgowns //”