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
“Hailing from the world of spoken word poetry, Rachel McKibbens is one of my all-time favorites for her fierce yet vulnerable voice, as powerful on the stage as it is on the page. Her fairly recent collection, blud continues to inspire me with the richness of its metaphors and raw energy. You don’t just read these poems—you feel them. They seep into your soul and entrance you in the same way that music does. What’s more, she’s an advocate for mental health, gender-equality, and victims of violence and domestic abuse. Rachel is the real deal.”—Richard Blanco, Oprah Daily