Poetry. Women’s Studies.
Written by Carol Kapaun Ratchenski
“‘Nothing stops time and its losses,’ these poems attest. A BEAUTIFUL HELL narrates the terrible journey into the profound maw of grief one who has experienced great loss must traverse. Told from a distance of years, the poems do ‘laps around the cemetery years later,’ documenting how close experience with death irrevocably marks and changes the ones who live through it. These poems rant and argue, they chant and console and cajole, they soothe and advise. A BEAUTIFUL HELL is a necessary handbook for anyone who is facing or has faced that unimaginable country—in other words, all of us. ‘Music like cancer runs in our family,’ one poem reports. Fortunately for us, in Carol Kapaun Ratchenski’s devastating poems, the music always has the last say.” —Debra Marquart