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woodvale by Kendall A. Bell

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Inspired by Taylor Swift’s Folklore album, Kendall A. Bell’s Woodvale is its own mythology, traveling back to those defining moments of love and loss. Throughout the entire collection, Bell holds us in the purgatory between wanting and being wanted, between desire and requited love—in true Swiftian tradition, Bell reveals that we learn the most about ourselves amid heartbreak. In every poem is music: sharp sound play, song lyrics, repetitions doubling as poetic refrains. Bell asks us to do more than relate to these poems, to take a step further than feeling what the speaker feels. Bell writes, “i still want to / matter somehow” and invites all of us, listening around the campfire, to sing along.

- Taylor Byas, author of Bloodwarm

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