by Alysse Kathleen McCanna



ISBN 9781938900297
Release Date: March 2019
47 pages, 5.3” x 7”
Read Press Release (PDF)



A drop of red on the wooden cutting board
alongside the slab of bloody beefbut my own
chicken heart has birthed it, too fool
to secure the sharp blade fully in my palm

and now the dilemma of cleaning
with a dripping thumb on the white
linoleum, beside the crusts of dirt
released from spring’s young shoes.

Long matchsticks in the pickling crock
I hold one to my uncombed hair
to smell the singe as the sun
leaches through the kitchen window



Pentimento is a well-crafted chapbook that contemplates the frayed end of things just as masterfully as it examines love’s illuminated beginnings. Each poem carefully weaves a greater narrative of what it means to lose someone — in spirit, in body, while also exploring what it means to leave and be left behind. This chapbook is earthy, painterly, and introspective, soberly interrogating trauma, war, guilt, and death while also steadfastly celebrating love, family, and the gleaming importance of joy.”

— Safiya Sinclair, judge of the 2017 Poetry Chapbook Competition


Alysse Kathleen McCanna is currently pursuing her PhD in English at Oklahoma State University. She is Associate Editor of Pilgrimage Magazine and received her MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in 2015. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from, Lunch Ticket, Barrow Street, The Boiler, Boulevard, Midwestern Gothic, and other journals. She lives in Stillwater, OK, where she and her husband bask in the heat of the prairie and tend to their growing menagerie.



Book design by Natalie Eilbert.

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