hair of the doggerel


Let’s say that you’ve recently polished off your local library’s collection of vampire sonnets, and perhaps even flipped, with a melancholy hand, the final page of your older brother’s three-volume haiku sequence about a marauding colony of Minotaurs—that you’ve exhausted, in other words, the literary exploration of monster subcultures written in obscure forms. Well, take heart. Toby Barlow’s first book, Sharp Teeth, is a verse novel about werewolves. This makes it not only a decisive answer (nay!) to the age-old question “Is long-form monster poetry dead?” but also a perfect marriage of form and subject: Both the werewolf and the verse novel (which lopes across the centuries from Pushkin to Browning to Vikram Seth) are shaggy hybrids that appear once in a blue moon and terrify everyone in sight.

more from NY Magazine here.