"A wonderful poet, and a tribute to Cornerstone Press."
- Jim Pollock, Council for Wisconsin Writers
"Kristine Ong Muslim is a fearless writer who pushes us to the edge of an abyss and asks us to jump. Meditations of a Beast is a dark, wild, ruthless collection that offers glimpses of worlds and futures beyond our own. Each poem leaves a bruise. Each verse slips right into your ear—eel-like—and never leaves. We are witnessing the rise of a truly singular voice in speculative fiction and poetry."
Kristine Ong Muslim is the author of The Drone Outside (Eibonvale Press, 2017), Black Arcadia (University of the Philippines Press, 2017), Meditations of a Beast (Cornerstone Press, 2016), Butterfly Dream (Snuggly Books, 2016), Age of Blight (Unnamed Press, 2016), and several other books of fiction and poetry. She co-edited numerous anthologies of fiction, including Destination: SEA 2050 A.D. (Penguin Random House SEA, 2022), Ulirát: Best Contemporary Stories in Translation from the Philippines (Gaudy Boy, 2021), and the British Fantasy Award-winning People of Colo(u)r Destroy Science Fiction! (2016). Her translation of Amado Anthony G. Mendoza III’s novel, Book of the Damned, won a 2023 PEN/Heim grant. She is also the translator of nine books by Filipino authors Mesándel Virtusio Arguelles, Rogelio Braga, and Marlon Hacla. Widely anthologized, Muslim’s short stories were published in Conjunctions, Dazed, and World Literature Today and translated into Bulgarian, Czech, German, Japanese, Polish, and Serbian. She lives in a small farmhouse in Sitio Magutay, a remote rural highland area in Maguindanao, Philippines.
my review may be slightly biased, and I'll explain why. but first, there are a few neat things about this collection of poems you might not know. 1. this is the first poetry collection done by this publisher (which is the University of Wisconsin Steven Point). and 2. this is the first multinational author the University has published (she's from the Philippines). and the reason I may be slightly biased is because my brother was part of the class that put this collection together and published it. and he would tell me things as it progressed and he really enjoyed the experience of publishing this poetry collection.
Okay, now to the actual review. I loved her writing style. it was different from what I've read recently and it was a nice change of pace. she has a lot for variety in this collection, especially format wise, which I thought was great as well. it kept me interested to see it come together and her style of writing is fantastic. she doesn't get all flashy, but she does use some big words here and there, but it works with the piece. some authors use big words to show off and it can take away from the piece, but not here. some of these poems really made me think, and her imagery is amazing with how short some of them are. she chooses just the right words to create something special.
if you enjoy poetry and you're thinking about this collection, I would highly recommend it!