Praise for Requited:
“Where would I travel if you hadn’t stopped me on the bridge to a brighter city,” asks the narrator of Requited, Kristina Marie Darling’s brilliant new essay-in-fragments. These spare, elegant prose poems describe a love affair salted like the “marble façade” of its frozen freeways. Lush flowers brittle into “iced-over fields of dead poppies” where “plaster doves have cracked from the cold.” Each poem poses a question meant to haunt the reader, much as Darling’s mysterious narrator is haunted by miscommunication: “There are always so many things that can go wrong in a conversation.” This gorgeous collection evokes passionate emotion through precise imagery and startling detail: “You are the display of lights. / & now cold water, / its bitter taste.”
—Carol Guess, author of Tinderbox Lawn and Doll Studies: Forensics
Requited must be savored-word by word and line by line-to fully take in the uncanny lushness of the relationship at the center of Kristina Marie Darling’s poetry. There is a beautiful spiraling away in these echoes-where “the meadow’s dark flowers burst into bloom” surges with a reverberating aloneness just as “in the distance the strip malls have begun to glow.” This is a wondrous collection.
—Alex Lemon, author of The Wish Book, Fancy Beasts, and Happy: A Memoir
“The effectiveness of Kristina Marie Darling’s book Requited lies in its ability to remind readers that it is human nature to crave to be what we are not. To crave what we don’t have. Darling treats poetry as a truth-telling mechanism. This is a book that is aware of itself, its truths, and how it wants to tell them. The self-referential nature of this text urges the truth to make itself known.”-The The Poetry.
“Darling tests our ability to transcend our arbitrary expectations and to find satisfaction in a text that is at once verse and prose, fragment and narrative, fiction and essay, developed scene and isolated image. Her deft dismissal of these theoretical distinctions allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the sensory language and explorative prose that embodies Requited.”-Split Lip Magazine.