Choking Back the Devil by Donna Lynch is an invocation, an ancient invitation that summons the darkness within and channels those lonely spirits looking for a host. It's a collection that lives in the realm of ghosts and family curses, witchcraft and urban legends, and if you're brave enough to peek behind the veil, the hauntings that permeate these pages will break seals and open doorways, cut throats and shatter mirrors.
You see, these poems are small drownings, all those subtle suffocations that live in that place between our ribs that swells with panic, incubates fear. Lynch shows her readers that sometimes our shadow selves--our secrets--are our sharpest weapons, the knives that rip through flesh, suture pacts with demons, cut deals with entities looking for more than a homecoming, something better, more intimate than family.
It's about the masks we wear and the reflections we choose not to look at, and what's most terrifying about the spells is these incantations show that we are the possessed, that we are our greatest monster, and if we look out of the corner of our eyes, sometimes--if we've damned ourselves enough--we can catch a glimpse of our own burnings, what monstrosities and mockeries we're to become.
So cross yourselves and say your prayers. Because in this world, you are the witch and the hunter, the girl and the wolf.
“Lynch mixes in childhood fables with waking nightmares, the result is electrifying; sometimes in a few razor sharp words; sometimes in longer numbered verses counting down the cycle of a damaged life. The silent cries of souls tormented to healthiness by pills and poultices, force fed by imperfect humans, echo in the silhouette of these poems. I smiled at the shadows unexpectedly delivered by her words, as will you.”--Linda D. Addison, award-winning author of How to Recognize a Demon Has Become Your Friend and HWA Lifetime Achievement Award winner
“This collection is not for the chronically disturbed, as fear is doled out in terse, potent portions. I got the shivers reading these unsettling poems.”--Marge Simon, Bram Stoker Award winner, SFPA Grand Master Poet
“Choking Back the Devil is unlike any other poetry collection you've ever read. Donna Lynch crafts beautifully terrifying worlds, packed with dense imagery and horrifying yet lush details. This collection will get your blood racing even as it breaks your heart.” --Gwendolyn Kiste, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Rust Maidens
“Some dark poets use their verse as a means to exorcise their demons. Lynch instead embraces her torment, nurtures it, and transforms it into equal parts hideous and heavenly. With a mix of wicked wit, carnal fury, and commentary that has sharpened its fangs to drain you until you're left with nothing but despair, Choking Back the Devil is essential sustenance for harrowed souls.”--Chad Stroup, author of Secrets of the Weird and Sexy Leper