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Candle and Pins

4.78  ·  Rating details ·  9 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The poems of “Candle and Pins” are inspired by familiar—and some unfamiliar—superstitions, ranging from love charms to burial practices, parsley seeds to the evil eye. Like superstitions themselves, these poems explore the terrain where magic and everyday life intertwine, and where beauty, horror, fear, and belief combine in ways both new and ageless.
Published February 8th 2018 by Alban Lake Publishing
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Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
"We turn to dark things in dark times."

Candle and Pins is a collection of around 40 poems about superstitions. I first heard of this collection from my Ladies of Horror Fiction teammates Jen & Toni, and I was so excited to dig into it!

I had heard of some of the superstitions before, but many were new to me. I loved the brief explanation or quote above each poem so that the reader could understand the background of the superstition. It made the experience much easier,
Jen (Book Den)
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, go-through
In the last moment, I turned my eyes away – grandfather was cutting. Grandmother prayed.

I was really excited to be offered a review copy of Candle and Pins. Not only am I trying to read a lot of poetry this year, Jacqueline West is an author I already had on my wishlist. She’s an MG/YA children’s book author so reading an adult dark fantasy/horror poetry collection by her was something I absolutely wanted to do. Imaginative horror poetry is a trifecta I am not going to pass up.

Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved Cherma, West's poetry collection built on the stories of her immigrant ancestors, and some of my favorites in Candles and Pins have a narrative quality as well, but most of the poetry is lyric, and the writer's gift for unique and spot-on metaphor particularly makes them edgy, shocking, or heart breaking.

I have come to expect final lines in West's poems that suspend me in a thought or emotion for several seconds after I've read them. "Why are we relieved that a crib is so near to a cage
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, poetry, fantasy
What intrigued me: After reading the description I knew this was my cup of tea.

What I liked: My favorite poems were Sin-Eater because this was a superstition that freaked me out as a child and The Garden of Lost Things because of the cadence. The imagery evoked is spectacular.

What I didn't like: It's so short. I will just have to content myself with reading it over and over.

Favorite quote: "We turn to dark things in dark times." - Abracadabra p.12
A.S. Green
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This beautifully written book of poems based on superstitions is atmospheric, creepy, sad, amazing... "The Cockatrice Egg"... wow.

Of course, read for your own enjoyment because there's plenty of that to be found in the pages, but thinking past that---these poems would be wonderful inspiration for anyone interested in writing a fantasy or paranormal novel.

Teachers, too, check it out.
Ann N.
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful little collection of poems. West has a unique and charming way with words - even when the subject matter is a bit dark. I enjoyed this very much.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful collection of poetry that combines the creepy with the awesome and the mysterious.
Aug 28, 2019 added it
Shelves: poetry
This collection was nominated for the 2019 Elgin Award. Rating and review to follow.
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