Gnashing Teeth Publishing

| words that get in your teeth

BOOK REVIEW: How Darkness Enters a Body by Sarah Nichols

The recent micro-chapbook, How Darkness Enters a Body by Sarah Nichols takes inspiration from a selection of photographs by Diane Arbus. Each piece within the collection is an ekphrastic poem which speaks to one image from Arbus’s vast collection of portraits that together shed light on marginalized populations. Nichols translates the images with powerful interpretations and commentary aligned with the master photographer’s intentions.  These poems center on gender pressures, influence of family and interpersonal connectivity while nodding heavily to the imagery inspiring them. I would suggest reading the pieces while also consulting the original pictures since each piece ignites interest in the partnership between the visual and linguistic mediums.


Throughout this brief collection, Nichols integrates photographic jargon in fascinating ways. She refers to “the aperture of our / mother’s body” in one moment, then shifts to capturing a subject “in the snare of my lens” and even refers to the camera as a “killing jar” implying the way it freezes and preserves a moment. Through varied methods of free verse, Nichols both preserves and expands each moment. She transports readers into the emotive aspects highlighted by her oculus.  “Etiquette for a Headless Woman” explores the concept of being lady-like even when one literally loses their head, leaving a voiceless yet poised specimen of femininity. Later, in “Nicotine Birthday Cake”, she embellishes a snapshot with a chilled despondency in contrast to being embraced by a higher power that can look beyond cosmetic imperfections.


This short work is a gateway to further explorations into emotions and art which transcend and reforge normalcy.

Purchase your copy of How Darkness Enters a Body from Porkbelly Press.


BOOK REVIEW: Gusher by Christopher Stephen Soden

Gusher, the recent Queer Mojo release from Christopher Stephen Soden, takes his first publication (Closer) and fine tunes it. Soden writes, “For this one moment / your connection is enough

BOOK REVIEW: Refugee by Pamela Uschuk

Pamela Uschuk’s 2022 release, Refugee, stands at an angle in the line of poetry collections. Hers is a unique perspective which weaves potent emotions and experiences into the fabric of

Goodnight, Taj Mahal by Andre Peltier

Deep below earth, clay and sand, deep below roots and aquifers, it lies in wait. Like that silent coyote stalking her white-tailed deer through the brush, it waits patiently and


we love hearing from you. tell us everything