cover of book

O Lady, Speak Again
by Dayna Patterson
Signature Books, 2023
Paper: 978-1-56085-464-7 | eISBN: 978-1-56085-481-4

The witchy, spell-soaked poems in Patterson’s second collection explore female characters from Shakespeare’s plays—with a feminist twist. The collection grapples with women’s roles in Shakespeare and in Mormon culture, both heavily influenced by patriarchal structures that often silence marginalized voices. If you’re not well-versed in Shakespeare or Mormonism, don’t worry—these poems will delight and enchant you with their own deep magic, their tremendous power, their singing.

In these pages you’ll meet Cordelia, third wife of polygamous Lear. You’ll meet Miranda, sailing away from her father and his faith. You’ll encounter Ophelia, who enters an amphibious torpor when buried, and is reborn as forest ecologist, far from her father’s ghost. Lady Macbeth and the weird sisters get a retrial, and Juliet finds her way to a different ending. Shadowy goddesses like Hecate, mother of witches, are invoked and act within these pages. Rosalind from As You Like It is given the final word. These poems delve into faith crisis, queerness, abandonment, transgressive power, rebirth, and dream. Prepare to be entranced.

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