Beast at the Hearth

Beast at the Hearth explores the passage from childhood into sexually awakened adulthood by retelling three Grimm Brothers' tales, all variations on the beauty and beast story. Adastra Press, 2005.

To purchase.

Reviews and Responses

"What makes Carlson-Bradley's work so intriguing is the details she offers, how she places the reader into the life of the character so effectively with just a few spare words. … Beast at the Hearth … is full of passion and emotion boiling just under the surface. 'One dreams of his return / a paw at the door / like a gentleman's fist--' writes Carlson-Bradley, and one can't help but to see the beast that waits on the other side." ~ Keith Demanche, The (Portsmouth, NH) Wire

"Spare and elegant, rich in the imagery of fable, Martha Carlson-Bradley's new chapbook, Beast at the Hearth, wanders into the unsettling landscape of fairy tales and settles in for a careful observation of the nature of desire. … Told in short lines and short stanzas, these poems are image and steam, language and fable dissolving into passion." ~ Jane Eklund, Monadnock Ledger

"The poet's eye that roams through
Beast at the Hearth is wild with attention. It's cinematic in its selectivity, its willingness to hold a frame in focus until what's shown shimmers with possibility. … Carlson-Bradley … understands that the power of fairy tales lies not in their distance from real human life but in their proximity to it. The desires, disguises, and disappointments in these poems are our kin, our kind. By stripping the tales to the most essential--but never predictable--details, Martha Carlson-Bradley gives mythic revision a fresh, contemporary voice." ~ Jeanne Marie Beaumont, co-editor of The Poets' Grimm (Story Line Press, 2003)

"She peels these Grimm fairy tales to their sensual essentials in three spare, excruciatingly beautiful poems. … Carlson-Bradley begins with fairy tales and writes her way into fertile territory like the power of the open heart to transform." ~ Rebecca Rule, "Book Notes," Sunday (Concord, NH) Monitor

"The poems in
Beast at the Hearth remake myths of sexual longing and foreboding in fragments and isolated scenes, at once familiar and eerily strange. While Martha Carlson-Bradley's material is volatile with submerged passion, her voice is cool and restrained, and her artistic command of language guides these poems along the arc of sexual and psychic awakening. This is a surprising, and deeply satisfying, collection." ~ Cynthia Huntington, former New Hampshire poet laureate