I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.
Author and poet Jeannie Hall Gailey share a rich collection of poems that showcase our ability to prevail and persevere through illness and natural disaster in the book “Flare, Corona”.
Against a constellation of solar weather events and evolving pandemic, Jeannine Hall Gailey’s Flare, Corona paints a self-portrait of the layered ways that we prevail and persevere through illness and natural disaster.
Gailey deftly juxtaposes odd solar and weather events with the medical disasters occurring inside her own brain and body— we follow her through a false-alarm terminal cancer diagnosis, a real diagnosis of MS, and finally the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The solar flare and corona of an eclipse becomes the neural lesions in her own personal “flare,” which she probes with both honesty and humor. While the collection features harbingers of calamity, visitations of wolves, blood moons, apocalypses, and plagues, at the center of it all are the poet’s attempts to navigate a fraught medical system, dealing with a series of challenging medical revelations, some of which are mirages and others that are all too real.
In Flare, Corona, Jeannine Hall Gailey is incandescent and tender-hearted, gracefully insistent on teaching us all of the ways that we can live, all of the ways in which we can refuse to do anything but to brilliantly and stubbornly survive.
I was absolutely moved and captivated by the heart and passion that the author relays her story of health battles and the pandemic. The use of story-driven, sci-fi, and dystopian genre writing styles to illustrate the author’s personal story was so remarkable and thrilling to see come to life on the page, and the humor and wit that underscores these apocalyptic-style poems made this a thrilling collection.
To me, the heart of this collection resides in the themes and imagery that the author utilizes in her work. The juxtaposition of the decay and darkness that surrounds humanity with the life and love that brings the light back into our lives was so remarkably moving, and the imagery that connects a brain scan to astronomical, and solar movements were both thought-provoking and heartfelt in its delivery.
Memorable, moving, and insightful, author Jeannie Hall Gailey’s “Flare, Corona” is a must-read collection of poems that speak to both the perils of health crisis and the hope that humanity draws from in times of need. The scope of the poems themselves and the creativity that they spark, and the imagery that the author’s poems bring to life made this a truly wonderful read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!
About the Author
Jeannine Hall Gailey is a writer with MS who served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of five books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She Returns to the Floating World, Unexplained Fevers, The Robot Scientist’s Daughter, Field Guide to the End of the World, the winner of the Moon City Press Book Award and the SFPA’s Elgin Award, and upcoming in 2023, Flare, Corona from BOA Editions. She also wrote a non-fiction book called PR for Poets to help poets trying to promote their books. Her poems have been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac and on Verse Daily; two were included in 2007’s The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She was awarded a 2007 and 2011 Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Prize for Poetry and a 2007 Washington State Artist Trust GAP grant. Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Poetry, and Ploughshares.