"Kate Garrett opens her book, A View from the Phantasmagoria, by marching right up to some sticky near-clichés and proceeding to turn them into a vibrantly glorious mess oftentimes confronting traditional perceptions of gender constructs, particularly when it comes to the body. Examining feminine paradigms and societal ideals oftentimes through the guise of biblical, gothic, mythological references with relentlessly spectacular imagery, Garrett destroys the reader’s need to breathe repeatedly. The deeper one goes in this collection, the more twisted and jarring the language becomes, ending on a beautiful, personal note that everyone should read. Please be prepared to be utterly gutted by this majestic manuscript."
-- KRISTINE ESSER SLENTZ
Have you ever wondered what it was like to be haunted by yourself? Kate Garrett’s A View from the Phantasmagoria maps it all out in sparkling gems and bone, plucked feathers and aching years. Through her words, you’ll meet devils, demons, and your own ghost. While there are spirits and nightmares that will satisfy fans of her known ethereal work, these multi-layered pieces are like peeling away a very deliberately crafted mask to find the haunted creature beneath. This is my favorite collection of Garrett’s to date- it’s her most intense, fascinating, and searing work.
-- December Lace
These paranormal poems hold out their spectral hands to lead us through the phantasmagoria: visions of lonely ghosts, rage-fuelled poltergeists, duels with demon outlaws, healing rituals, déjà vu, sex, and survival. Within the supernatural horror, this book also explores a life with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) - a very real and severe condition that haunts an estimated 1 in 20 women and afab individuals, whether they know its name or not.
A portion of the sales from this book will be donated to Vicious Cycle: Making PMDD Visible and IAPMD (International Association for Premenstrual Disorders).
"'Decades harden, bless us with the wisdom of the damned…I know the drumbeat of hell-steed hooves will troop over the horizon, but this time I am watching for the omens, waiting for the hollow call of wind through a cavern mouth,' Kate Garrett says in A View from the Phantasmagoria. When your body betrays you, what do you have left? How do you pick up the pieces? Garrett presents the answer—you stop hiding behind a mask, and reveal your pain. This book is a spell, a lush dream, weaving its way around the reader, keeping you in its thrall. A View from the Phantasmagoria is about how pain shapes us—and ultimately makes us stronger."
--Jessica Drake-Thomas, author of Burials
"The word ‘phantasmagoria’ is defined as a sequence of real or imaginary images, like those seen in a dream. Kate Garrett’s A View from Phantasmagoria: Haunts, Hexes, Healing brings heartbreaking realization that these ‘real or imagined’ images appear to Garrett in moments following extreme anguish. This pain, afflicted by premenstrual dysphoric disorder, or PMDD, affects her understanding, confidence, and presentation of her ‘self’. With a masterful use of language, Garrett illustrates the isolation and loneliness of pain. With precise and forlorn expression, she bares these intimate moments for all to see; and it is with this willingness to share that she acts in solidarity with other womxn who may be suffering in silence. Ultimately, she “lets the light in, breaks the gloom” and proves that even after the harshest winter, spring will always come."
-- Keana Aguila Labra, Editor-in-Chief of Marias at Sampaguitas
Summer is a climb, a pilgrimage of gold
and green, and in these honey blossoms
is your goddess gift of well-earned rest
before the amble down to mulch and snow.
Woodbine twines around my ankles, knees
and infinite harvested sunbeams quiver
in the grass, hug the soles of feet aching
with a week of unknown sorrow, legs heavy
from sparring with the devil’s kin. Brushing
dirt from my hands I hear a whisper of ‘this
too shall pass’ – my grandmother’s wisdom
like a warm hand at the base of my neck.