blud is a bold, taboo-smashing collection in the lineage of Sylvia Plath, June Jordan, and Sharon Olds. Tightly crafted and explosive, these poems inherit, reject, and forgive the gifts and curses of a fraught bloodline. With incantatory rhythm, blud transforms the stigmas assigned to mental illness, abuse, and abandonment. What emerges from this poetic brujería is a fierce love: for chosen family, for the hard-won home, and for the surviving self. Rachel McKibbens is a force and a beacon—our “witchy folk hero of the disenfranchised” (Ploughshares).
“Throughout [blud], McKibbens breathes brilliant life into language, forging lush, rhythmic poems that are both fiercely urgent and tightly controlled, dark and flickering with fairy-tale-like magic… Stunning, unflinching, fearless.” ―Booklist, starred review
“Chicana poet, activist, and witchy folk hero of the disenfranchised… [McKibbens] creates these spaces of witness with her feral and boundary-pushing poems that speak unflinchingly of topics often swept under the rug: rape, domestic violence, body shaming, mental illness, prejudice.” ―Ploughshares
“McKibbens, a pioneer in the art of performance poetry, presents her audience [with] selfless honesty.” ―The Rumpus
“Rachel McKibbens… reminds us why poetry as testimony is so necessary.” ―Poetry Foundation