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Melancholia (An Essay)

In Kristina Marie Darling’s Melancholia (An Essay), a “lock of tangled hair,” a necklace’s “broken clasp,” and a “shattered jewelry box” appear as artifacts of the heroine’s loss. This stunning essay-in-poems reads as both a love story and a collection of memorable objects, the significance of each being revealed to the reader in elliptical, adeptly controlled prose narratives. Also filled with fragmented forms—including footnotes to absent texts, incomplete letters, and partial glossaries—Darling’s new collection asks whether memory can be confined to the margins, in the end suggesting the unmatched intensity of mourning, melancholia, and personal transformation.