With the much anticipated release of Gretchen Gomez’s second collection, Welcome to Ghost Town, coming this fall I thought I would share my review here, seeing I featured Gomez’s debut Love, and You earlier this summer. I had the honor of being one of the handful of people the author shared her final copy with early, and I’m so happy I was. I was eager to read this collection and I hope my review will make you as well.
This collection is incredible!
25 ghosts, each given a name and each having their own unique voices’ that live beneath the authors’ consumed me from the beginning. I devoured the book in one sitting, and then started reading it again just to soak it in, to make sure I didn’t miss any words, any punch lines, any hidden messages Gomez left for the reader to find. I suggest everyone does the same. There is so much depth to this collection – to these ghosts – you need to allow them to haunt you the same way they have haunted this author.
Gomez weaves her metaphors, alliterations, and imagery almost perfectly through out her carefully thought out line breaks that leave the reader both pained and wanting more. Some ghosts were more dressed up than others, some still lurked within the shadows – but it was all so well done to help understand who these ghosts were – are – to her. You can see how much effort was put into this collection from the beautiful artwork on the cover down to the placement of each poem. Nothing went overlooked.
I left the book wondering what happened to certain ghosts, hating other ghosts, and full of love and respect for the last one. Gomez let us into her life, once again, and showed us – her readers – parts of her you’d never know otherwise.
Gomez has shown in her previous works, Love and, You, that she is not a safe poet. She does not write for the masses, nor does she write in hopes that others will relate to her — this collection starts off stating that others will not connect to the words on the page; I applaud that tremendously. Her courage, her strength, to share these stories of abuse, of hate, of secrets that religious institutions – more specifically, a religious institution she grew up in – is admirable. This collection is raw, it is vulnerable, it is honest. There isn’t another collection like this, and there never will be. Gomez creates magic with her poetry, no matter how dark or taboo the theme may be. Her growth is nothing less than inspiring. Love, and You was a great collection – this one is better.
I could keep going, but I won’t. Instead read it for yourself, fall in love with this collection the same way I was able to. Go into it blindly, expect nothing but the authors truth, and come out of it a little bit haunted. Easily, one of the top poetry collections I have read, I cannot give enough praise to it.
You can add Welcome to Ghost Town on Goodreads and make sure to follow Gretchen Gomez on Twitter, Instagram, and her Blog for more of her work! If you haven’t already read her debut you can buy it on Amazon.