Book-Headers - Header Erin Slaughter The Sorrow Festival

This collection of poetry interrogates the impact of grief and partner violence on a family lineage, as well as the connections between sorrow and joy as they relate to poetry, women’s writing, and the process of the “confessional.”

Inextricably woven into these investigations of various types of grief is the question of what gendered and socioeconomic statuses we bring with us when we choose poetry as a method of recording the intimacies of life.

uploads - Cover Erin Slaughter The Sorrow Festival
The Sorrow Festival by Erin Slaughter

‘Forgiveness, your mouth / is the wet hungering mouth of the world / & its hungering for itself, ‘ writes Erin Slaughter in her collection I WILL TELL THIS STORY TO THE SUN UNTIL YOU REMEMBER YOU ARE THE SUN. The speaker here is the ‘actor in [her] own quiet being, ‘ and in her full-bodied inhabitation of difficult inheritances, fraught beauties, and inevitable losses. These are poems of praise and consolation, of gratitude and grief; they reach toward hope even as they note the kindnesses we offer to the ‘small, cruel moments [that] will ruin us.’ Slaughter’s poems brim with musicality and keen vision. They linger in a moment when we are not quite enough for one another and when we are all each other has.

–Paula Cisewski, author of Quitter, Ghost Fargo, and Upon Arrival

A poem can slice you right open and get down to something inside you like the very core of a jawbreaker and linger there. I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun by Erin Slaughter is a bundle of these poems left on your front doorstep as an offering. Here, Slaughter melts loneliness down; she writes of wandering through a world where none of us and all of us are truly alone.

–The Talisman (review by Ella Corder)

Erin Slaughter is editor and co-founder of The Hunger, and the author of I Will Tell This Story to the Sun Until You Remember That You Are the Sun (New Rivers Press, 2019). Her poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid writing has appeared in Black Warrior Review, Cincinnati Review, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, Split Lip Magazine, and elsewhere. Originally from north Texas, she is pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing at Florida State University, where she serves as Nonfiction Editor of the Southeast Review and co-hosts the Jerome Stern Reading Series. You can find her online at

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