The rooms in The Memory Palace are filled with holy relics, profane agonies, memories that are revelations, and windows to wonders . . . A significant poetry collection by JoSelle Vanderhooft, dealing with the raw themes of youth, pain, the Catholic faith, and the challenges of growing up gay.
Structured around the Renaissance mnemonic device of a building with rooms populated by thoughts and objects, THE MEMORY PALACE is a lucid dream, a remarkably powerful memoir, and a fantasy.
"Inside "The Memory Palace," JoSelle Vanderhooft constructs a painfully honest memoir in free verse, detailing one talented young woman's odyssey past the monsters of mental illness, through the brutal clash between faith and sexuality, always haunted by the terrible enigma of a father's suicide -- yet these traumas are counterbalanced by earnest hope and the small, sweet moments life grants to fighters and survivors. Her eloquent and eminently readable story will resonate with any one who's ever found themselves an alien in their own world, peering in at society from the outside." -- Mike Allen, three-time Rhysling Award winner and editor of "Mythic Delirium"
A dramaturg and something of a lapsed playwright, Vanderhooft works as a freelance journalist, poet and fiction writer. Her work has appeared or will soon appear in print and online in such venues as Aofie’s Kiss, Byzarium, Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, Not One of Us, MYTHIC, Mythic Delirium, Reflections Edge, Star*Line and several others.
To date, she has published seven poetry books: 10,000 Several Doors (Cat’s Eye Publishing, 2005), The Minotaur’s Last Letter to His Mother (2007, Ash Phoenix Press, to be re-released by Sam’s Dot Publishing in the future), Ossuary (2007, Sam’s Dot Publishing), The Handless Maiden and Other Tales Twice Told (2008 Sam’s Dot Publishing), The Memory Palace (2009, Norilana Books) and Fathers, Daughters, Ghosts & Monsters (2009, VanZeno Press).
Her first novel The Tale of the Miller’s Daughter was released from Papaveria Press in June, 2006 and her second and third, Owl Skin, and Ebenezer, a retelling of A Christmas Carol, are forthcoming from Papaveria and Drollerie Press, respectively . She edited the Torquere Press anthology of lesbian fairytales Sleeping Beauty, Indeed (reissued in 2009 by Lethe Press) as well as Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories (2011, Torquere Press) and (with Catherine Lundoff) Hellebore & Rue, an anthology of stories about lesbian magic users (Drollerie Press, 2010). Bitten By Moonlight, an anthology of lesbian werewolf stories, will be released from Zumaya Books in 2011.