REVIEW: Mud Woman – Joanna Penn Cooper & R. Bratten Weiss (Dancing Girl Press)

Over the course of your correspondence, you begin to discuss your dreams. Begin, in fact, to have dreams that echo the other’s. There is a house, creepy yet somehow luminous. Stables. Treasure, possibly, among the muck. But should you be there? Who (or what) lurks in the dim?
JPC from “You Correspond with a Woman in Ohio”


Three days of rain and in the wet night the slugs emerge, gnawing to lace the tiny seedlings, binding up the ragged edges with glittering slime. At least, I say, the slugs are happy.
– RBW from “A Scavenger Hunt”

Prose poetry isn’t poetry, right? I mean, where are the enjambments, the proper line breaks? These aren’t stanzas! These are paragraphs!

But I feel every damn word, and isn’t that the purpose of poetry?

Joanna Penn Cooper and R. Bratten Weiss have crafted one of the most beautiful, conversational, back-and-forth chapbooks that I’ve read. Period. It’s subtle, honest, and harrowing.

It took me a few pieces to grasp the weight and beauty in the conversation. It’s not just a back-and-forth, but rather the wont to share more than just ideas, and wonderings, and emotions, but also the immediacy and the longing to be intertwined with one another.

I feel like a voyeur, like I’m reading over each of their shoulders as they put pen to paper, and that I know their secrets before they ever place paper in envelope, or envelope in mailbox. I want to know more, but I don’t want to get caught; I want to close my eyes and continue their stories.

In this picture, my son is mad that I picked some clover. He is weeping, in fact. He is probably secretly mad about other things, like how childhood is terrifying and he has relatively little power. – JPC “Camera Roll”

Purchase your copy of Mud Woman at Dancing Girl Press.




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