Burn This House

 Embracing paradox as the poet’s deliverance, Davio evokes Wallace Stevens. —Shelf Awareness

Davio’s attention to—and deft handling of—her craft extends to the smallest details, as evidenced in the wonderful pacing and lineation… —Poetry Northwest

Davio explores the erosion of faith, time, memory, and love with clear speakers who are unafraid to expose doubts and question the world. The speakers are alternately compassionate and cruel, ironic and sincere. 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. —The Rumpus

Don’t let Davio’s inquisitive and sustained tone fool you; these smart and witty poems are the vehicle for a raw examination of how things work. —Contrary Magazine

…interweaving of the personal and the prophetic, Biblical and family histories, and the betrayals of the physical self make this complex and fascinating debut book worth a second and third reading. –Crab Creek Review

The title of Kelly Davio’s debut collection establishes an expectation of anger, bitterness, perhaps violence…The book, however, is much more interesting than that simple emotion. —New Pages

Burn This House leaves us ignited, the way the best poetry should. To quote Williams again, this collection leaves us with “a reversal of despair,” one that, like these poems, is both “endless and indestructible. —The California Journal of Women Writers

Pre-publication praise for Burn This House:

“Here is a clear, fresh voice enhanced by first-rate craftsmanship. Kelly Davio gives us poems full of original surprises.”

—David Wagoner

“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

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.


6 responses to “Burn This House”

  1. Sounds like an intriguing read. I hope it goes well.

  2. It looks great – good luck with it.

  3. Kelly,

    It sounds like a very absorbing read. Amazingly, this may easily be someone’s real life story as so many young adults without resources often find themselves living in quite a different world than the one our eyes see.
    Best of luck with your “baby”

  4. Incidentally, I love the idea of a verse novel. I read one by Bernadine Evaristo (The Emperor’s New Babe) that I bought a few years ago because it was written in verse – but I haven’t come across many others.

  5. I enjoyed your poem “Burn this house” It reminded me of dying before you die to really live

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