Trade Paper Original
6 x 9
Cover art by Sofi Thanhauser.
We are pleased to announce the publication of Motherlover, the debut collection by Ginger Ko. This is a work of boldly expressive, emotionally restless poems, in which tonal variation, precision of imagery, and discomfiting honesty shape our understanding of its complex speaker as she attempts to address and process both her personal history and her own ambivalence to the various roles she is expected to fill as a woman, lover, wife, and future mother.
The opening sequence, “Gaslight,” explores the ways in which childhood abuse affects family dynamics, while the second looser section of individual poems called “Body” looks at various ways this history comes to bear in other relationships, in an ongoing way. The final sequence takes as an organizing metaphor the flashing signature of a lighthouse, which in this case Ko has situated in the wide prairies surrounding her as she wrote the book in Laramie, Wyoming. Does her Prairie Lighthouse warn of obstacles ahead, or point toward safe passage? What does it mean to internalize this metaphor, to signal oneself as off/on, to throw out a self-illuminated, searching beam:
At night I must turn off lights, click the set, and lie in bed like a drowned flower,
dried spice, a glass mannequin filling out my clothes.
I feel around my head with taps of recognition.
I remember how it feels, but have forgotten how to get there.
I point a flashlight at darkness,
the light dissipating before touching on a single thing.
[“Night Signature,” p. 73]