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The poems employ highly specialized language, using constraints based on the speech patterns and brutality of their subjects. While the language is highly technical and dense, it becomes witty, intimate, and even erotic in its specificity. These poems address the results of abuses of power and taken together present a case study in the pathology of super-villainy.
Praise for Thumbscrews:
"Natalie Zina Walschots [is] a writer who engages with the aesthetics of sadomasochism in order to generate elegant, sensual poetry that writhes inside the shackles of its own linguistic constraint... [she] treats each poem as a miniature, theatrical tableau—a “passion play,” in which she forces language to submit to her will, beating its grammar into a stupor of ecstatic nonsense."
-- Christian Bök, The Poetry Foundation