Jane Satterfield’s poetry collection The Badass Brontës, published by Diode Editions, explores the lives and legacy of the Brontë sisters, some of the most iconic literary figures of the 19th century Jane’s poetry illuminates the traumas, decisions, and aspirations of Emily, Charlotte, and Anne Brontë.
Jane Satterfield’s beautiful new collection The Badass Brontës reimagines the world of the Brontë sisters. With a range of forms including ekphrasis, letters, a cento, a sestina and even a quiz—“Which Brontë sister are you?”—Satterfield’s poems are both daring and inventive. The poems investigate the Brontës’ vivid world of imagination and envision the sisters’ lives in our present moment, during the pandemic lockdown and the climate crisis. I love The Badass Brontës for its lyric grace but also for its boldness and wit. As Satterfield writes in the poem “Volumes,” “A book’s an invitation, / excoriation, sustenance, pilgrimage…” and this exhilarating book is all of this and more.—Nicole Cooley, author of Girl after Girl after Girl
In 2022, Jane wrote about her interest in the history of the sisters as their images filtered through pop culture in a PopPoetry article. It’s a wonderful look into her enthusiasm for writing about literary influences throughout history.
“Would you / say the here & now is a horizon / to eternity?” asks the poet of Emily Brontë in the proem that introduces Jane Satterfield’s remarkable new collection. With consummate empathy, the poems of The Badass Brontës seek nothing less than to interfuse historical, personal, and artistic horizons, and do so with such formal and tonal vibrancy they accomplish something close to a co-presence of the Brontës’ haunting and haunted world and our own fraught and frangible one. In Satterfield’s work, the voices of these figures emerge as from a proverbial mind-meld with the poet’s, such that every detail feels conjured alive, awake, so each becomes, like all of us, “one bright strand / in the story of time & / vanishing.”Daniel Tobin, author of Blood Labors
You can pre-order The Badass Brontës here. Visit Jane’s website here. Her nonfiction piece “Mother Tongue” appeared in issue 17.
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