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100 WORD BOOK REVIEWS / Dreamland for Keeps / Sarah Nichols

Elizabeth Short has long been a source text of sorts for true crime aficionados. In Dreamland for Keeps, Sarah Nichols uses James Ellroy’s noirish fictional account of Short’s murder, The Black Dahlia, as source text for found poems in which Short speaks from her life and her afterlife. It helps to come to this collection with some background on Short already, but it’s not necessary; the cultural alchemy by which a murdered woman becomes both icon and cipher is one we’re all well-versed in. In Nichols’ hands, the louche overreach of Ellroy’s prose becomes a stark, forceful, and self-possessed poetry.

Jeanne Obbard

Dreamland for Keeps by Sarah Nichols

 Published by Porkbelly Press

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