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I Am Not Your Final Girl: Poems

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  457 ratings  ·  121 reviews
From Claire C. Holland, a timely collection of poetry that follows the final girl of slasher cinema - the girl who survives until the end - on a journey of retribution and reclamation. From the white picket fences of 1970s Haddonfield to the apocalyptic end of the world, Holland confronts the role of women in relation to subjects including feminism, violence, motherhood, ...more
Paperback, 92 pages
Published February 28th 2018 by GlassPoet Press
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Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
"'s not the Devil you need to worry about, but the devil you know." ROSEMARY (Rosemary's Baby 1968) Claire C. Holland
"She has teeth and claws and fight in this fight, but it will mean nothing to a man who says 'I like a girl with spirit' when what he means is, 'I like a girl that can break." JENNIFER (I Spit On Your Grave 1978) Claire C. Holland
"Do you feel eyes moving over your body yet? You will. Cover it with cloth as thick as cardboard, they'll pare it down, peel it away, husk you
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I picked this one up, and immediately after reading Holland's introduction I just wanted to stand up and clap. She so perfectly articulates something that I didn't even realize I was thinking. I love her use of the term "horror heroine". I often turn to horror movies to deal with all of the negative crap happening in the world around me, and I realize now that all of those "final girls" all of those badass "horror heroines" are what I need to make me feel good about the world again. For just ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I AM NOT YOUR FINAL GIRL: Poems, by Claire C. Holland, is a collection of poetry that pays tribute to various "final girls" of horror movies over the years. Split up into different sections, each poem has the title of a woman's name--underneath this, the movie the character starred in.

However, the book is really so much more than the sum of its parts.

My attention was immediately caught by Claire C. Holland's introduction. Unlike many that I come across, this one made me feel as though I was
Stephanie (That's What She Read)
Blown away

Strongly recommend if you're a fan of horror movies and consider yourself a feminist. Some of these were so beautiful and haunting i had to sit with them for a moment.
Robin Bonne
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With what happened to me in my past, I can identify with the Final Girls of the horror genre. These were relatable for me and although some of the poems were about horror movies I had not seen, the underlying theme of pain and trauma was still clear.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
4.0 Stars
This is a fantastic collection of horror themed poetry. I don't normally consider myself a poetry reader, but I absolutely loved these ones. All the poems were incredibly powerful and wonderfully feminist. If I had watched more of these movies, I strongly suspect this would have been a five star read for me. This is definitely a collection I want to reread in the future as I watch through more iconic horror movies. I would highly recommend this collection even to readers who don’t
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
The final girl trope is a prevalent one in horror films, specifically slashers, where once the action of the movie sets in and her friends are picked off one by one, the mild-mannered (generally “good”) girl has to suit up, grab a weapon, scream a lot, kill the baddie, and limp off into the rising sun, soaked in blood, forever changed.

And yet, women are not really depicted all that heroically in a lot of horror films. They are in need of saving, fall deep into stereotypes, and are constantly
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She lives

I am not a big fan of poetry. This poetry was absolutely amazing. I like that the poet used horror movies and final girls as the subjects. That's original (Not sarcasm).

I admit that I haven't watched all the movies referenced. I do hope the poet puts another book out.
Holly (The Grimdragon)
"Real women are final girls, and so much more. We are more than a trope. We're strong and slutty, quiet and confident, outspoken and sarcastic and we don't feel like smiling because we have work to do. We defy definition. And we're not going down without a fight."

I write a lot of poetry but I don't read much of it anymore. When I do, I like it dark and bloody and morbid like I like my books.

I Am Not Your Final Girl is a collection of 40 poems about the feminist perspective in horror movies.

Sara Tantlinger
"I have known monsters and I have known men," begins the poem inspired by Clarice from The Silence of the Lambs, but this line carries a lot of weight for the entire collection that Claire C. Holland creates. Each poem and each voice takes the Final Girl trope and smashes it beautifully just as this book smashes the patriarchy with its timely, proactive nature of women in horror standing their ground. Holland's language evokes something gorgeous and powerful, and each poem is so strongly told ...more
Ashley (bookishmommy)
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Horror poetry?!!! Color me INTRIGUED.
Andrew Stone
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
The creation of this collection of poetry is an excellent idea with solid execution. Each poem is (more or less?) an ode to a final girl from a horror film, and each poem (with the exception of a few) is named after the final girl it is inspired by. I Am Not Your Final Girl is an original, fiercely feminist poetry collection. Def recommended for horror fans.
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sweet sweet brutal revenge.

I Am Not Your Final Girl!!!
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Real women are final girls, and so much more. We are more than a trope. We're strong and slutty, quiet and confident, outspoken and sarcastic and we don't feel like smiling because we have work to do. We defy definition. And we're not going down without a fight."
-Claire C. Holland

I put off reading this book of poems because 1) I need to be in the mood for poetry, 2) I have so many books on my TBR list, and 3) I was dubious about a poetry book where the theme is women and horror specifically the
Alex findingmontauk1
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Claire C. Holland's collection of horror & dark poetry is stunning. Horror movies almost always have a final girl... the one girl to stop the killer and survive. But the rest of the movie usually has women playing silly roles and are extorted for one reason or another. In this collection, she turns up the female empowerment. And in a sense, she uses strong female characters from horror movies as the focus of each poem. Holland really gets under your skin with these smart, powerful, dark ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, horror
Each poem inI Am Not Your Final Girlis told from the point of view of a woman in horror film history and the suffering they experience.

Split into different sections based on the character, this is a collection about female empowerment and a woman's attempts to recover agency in a world so intent on taking it away from her. It explores their stories in different forms, not sticking to one style, and this only amplifies the desire for independence and the desire to have your words listened to.I've
Cooper Beckett
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holland's poetry is not only lovely and bursting with feminist passion, but also clearly captures the individual final girls she's writing as. Thoroughly enjoyed!
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I expected these poems to be creepy, and they were creepy in the best way, complete with “greasy bodies wriggling down dank tunnels” and “forked slimy tongues” clicking. What I didn’t expect is for this book to also be remarkably inspiring. Days after reading it, I’m still energized by this passage from “Amy”:

[…] You think I’m sweet,
candied to cloying, a thing to grab and put
in your mouth until I’m chewed to a pulp
and used up. You’re wrong.
I will adorn this body with scars, twist it
until it is
idk if i actually really loved this or if i’m just a sucker for any exploration of the final girl character. so

guess i recommend?????
Well Read Beard
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-books
So I was grabbed by the introduction. I don't think I have ever said that about a book before, Grabbed by the introduction? The cover of this book screams good old-fashioned bloodbath horror, but it is so much more. The intro really gives you a deep sense of where the author was at mentally, physically when penning these poems. It also highlights the ridiculously cool premise of the comparison of today's feminist heroes to the "final girls" from horror movies ( recent and classic ). The book is ...more
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first collection of horror poetry, something I never knew I wanted or needed, but loved deeply.
Jan Stinchcomb
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a fantastic poetry collection built on the trope of the final girl in the horror films of the past several decades. This is also a smart little book about women in the world, so don't tell me that you don't read much poetry or that you don't like horror films. If you care about the survival of women in today's world of violence and political compromise, then you must read this book. Claire Holland has provided us with a nice bit of film criticism/cultural studies in these poems. Finally, ...more
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-reads
This debut collection from Claire C. Holland combines two of my favorite things: feminist poetry and fictional final girls. Written in response to the 2016 election and the #MeToo movement (among other unfathomable goings on in the world), Holland’s poems explore the perspective of 40 female horror film survivors throughout the decades. Deeply unapologetic, this debut collection is a fitting tribute to final girls and the society that shapes them.

Fierce collection of poetry based on female characters of horror films. There were a few I was not familiar with so may have to search those out.
Odessa Scorpio
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to say, I didn't understand all of it but I really did enjoy it and the connection to each horror film and some of their final girls (and just lead girls if there wasn't one)
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I can not think of a better book to read after finishing Madeline Miller's Circe earlier this week. Both give fierce and dynamic voices to female characters, forcing readers to rethink tired notions of storytelling. One bridge between the two would be Margaret Atwood's poem, "Siren Song," which I believe captures what Holland is doing here. And this collection exceeds its expectations, succeeding on so many levels.

First, it's simply a legitimately solid book of poetry. Nearly every poem gave me
Andrew Sydlik
I heard about this collection on Horror Movie Podcast Episode #145. Seeing it was only $5 on Amazon, I decided to give it a shot. I was a bit wary; although I love horror movies as well as poetry, I haven't come across many successful attempts to bring those two things together. I've read "horror poetry" that doesn't work terribly well as poetry--rooted more in horror tropes and creepy words than the multi-layered, imagistic sensibility of poetry. I was pleasantly surprised to see these as ...more
Tiffany Anne
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Your personality is apartments, doors that can be closed.”

I don’t think I’ve highlighted any other book so heavily. I’m new to poetry. I’ll need to read this again and again to fully appreciate it. Yet still, there were so many moments that hit me in the gut. Shideh, Under the Shadow, was my favourite poem in this collection.
Andrea Blythe
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, fic-horror
Just in time for the Halloween season. I Am Not Your Final Girl is a collection of horror-themed poetry draws on the female characters of horror cinema — the survivors, victims, villains, and monsters — who prowl through dark worlds, facing oppression, persecution, violence, and death. In her introduction, Claire C. Holland notes, “I draw strength from the many strong women around me, both real and fictional.” The women in this collection channel their pain and rage into a galvanizing force. ...more
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Something can be vulnerable / and powerful both at once, but / you cannot understand this / and I have grown so wearing trying / to explain."

I Am Not Your Final Girl is a book of 40 poems about women in horror. I was fascinated by the concept of this book, and am happy to say that I was not disappointed by this book.

I didn't love every poem in this book, but they were all between 3-5 for me - I liked everything. My top 5 favorites are Rosemary - Rosemary's Baby (1968), Laurie - Halloween
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Claire C. Holland is a poet and writer from Philadelphia, currently living in Los Angeles. She has been a freelance writer for more than ten years. When she's not writing, Claire can usually be found reading or binge-watching horror movies with her husband, Corey, and Wheaten Terrier, Chief Brody. She is also a feminist, a tattoo collector, and interested in all forms of art strange and ...more
“She is so tired of waiting —aren’t you?—for the world to become good and tolerable and kind.” 1 likes
“There is nothing else in this world like realizing you’re going to live and not being sure you can.” 0 likes
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