In Our Wolves, poet Luanne Castle navigates the timeless story of “Little Red Riding Hood” in a compelling collection of sharp, memorable poetry. Familiar tales are ageless for a reason.
Their magic is that they can easily be transformed to explore subjects of abuse, danger, sexuality, self-sufficiency, and interpersonal relationships in a way that makes these challenging topics palatable to readers. Trying to find the reasoning behind Red’s traumatic adventure, as well as using it to comment on contemporary events, Castle creates taut narratives and sympathetic monologues to show how the story shapeshifts with the teller.
Here, we hear from the wolf, the huntsman/woodcutter, Grandmother, townspeople, and Red herself. Not just a victimized or innocent child, Castle’s Red also appears in wiser (and sometimes older) incarnations that are knowing, rebellious, resilient, and clever.
This technique subverts stereotypical conventions and shows that Red’s story “is not so very different from yours / and yours and yours and yours and yours.” Filled with atmospheric power, dynamic portrayals, and bright imagery, Our Wolves will haunt you long after you’ve returned from its woods.
Inside the cabin, it’s woody and warm,
near the woodstove.– A SNOWY NIGHT IN MANISTEE RIVER VALLEY
(Alien Buddha Press, 31 January 2023, e-book, 37 pages, copy from Poetic Book Tours, Blog Tour 7 March)
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I love poetry and fairy takes so Our Wolves sounded right up my street. I loved this poetry pamphlet. My only criticism is that it’s too short. I wanted the poems to continue. The poems are dark and touch on Little Red Riding Hood exploring the famous or infamous fairy-tale in many ways. The wolf becomes both the predator and victim as does red. I especially liked What Happens In The Dark When It’s Cold Outside, Fiction, How To Digest The Wolf, Red Studied All The World’s Folklore And Yet and Our Old Wolves. This is a remarkable collection.
Thank you for the lovely review, Pamela. So glad you enjoyed the poems!
A terrific review, Pamela. Congratulations to Luanne
Thanks so much for your review!
I enjoyed this collection also, great review.