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9781927380406_cover Enlarge Cover
4.5 of 5
3 ratings
list price: $18
category: Poetry
published: Feb 2013


by Marita Dachsel

reviews: 1
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Glossolalia is an unflinching exploration of sisterhood, motherhood, and sexuality as told in a series of poetic monologues spoken by the thirty-four polygamous wives of Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Marita Dachsel's second full-length collection, the self-avowed agnostic feminist uses mid-nineteenth century Mormon America as a microcosm for the universal emotions of love, jealousy, loneliness, pride, despair, and passion. Glossolalia is anextraordinary, often funny, and deeply human examination of what it means to be a wife and a woman through the lens of religion and history.

Contributor Notes

Marita Dachsel is the author of All Things Said & Done (Caitlin Press, 2007) and the chapbook Eliza Roxcy Snow (rednettle press, 2009). Her poetry has been shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, the ReLit Prize, and has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011. After many years in Vancouver and Edmonton, she and her family have recently relocated to Victoria.

Reader Reviews

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Association of Book Publishers of BC
Librarian review


This is a one-of-a-kind book of poetry. Dachsel uses many different contemporary poetic forms, including visual and erasure poems, to create poems based on the imagined experience of 34 wives of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Themes such as jealousy are explored and mentions of birthing and sexuality are integral to the poems. Although most of the terms used to reference body parts are technical (e.g., aureole) or archaic (e.g., quim), she also uses contemporary words (e.g., “It’s all so gross.”). An appendix includes lists of women known to be Smith’s wives and a useful set of explanatory notes.

Dachsel’s work has been shortlisted for both the ReLit Award and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry.

Caution: Content could be considered offensive, possibly even blasphemous, by followers of Mormonism.

Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. BC Books for BC Schools. 2013-2014.

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