The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
The moment is everything in Jennifer MacBain-Stephens’ masterful poetry collection, The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows. Every poem of this collection is delivered with a brilliant clairaudience that feels like lying in bed late at night, listening to the static fuzz of an old VHS tape and swearing you hear a voice and the voice is calling for you. This collection sees and hears what is absent and what is coming all at once. It creates its own arcana of liberated body parts, crow beaks, tears, car doors, and magic mouths. What happens when every pixel of existence is finely chopped, separated, and then blended together again? MacBain-Stephens knows the answer. Can you hear her voice in the static? These poems are calling you.
--Kailey Tedesco, author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton
In The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows, Jennifer MacBain-Stephens takes us on a gothic tour of a broken-hearted psyche, which includes stops for tarot card readings and repeated visits to nearby Salem's Lot. Through poems both shadowy and visceral, MacBain-Stephens's last girl "cannot burn these thousand pound dictionaries" because she needs the words. And so do we.
--Nate Logan, editor and publisher of Spooky Girlfriend Press
The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows reads like a collage of clippings from a dream journal –– fragments of wonder and exhaustion strategically placed in all the right spots. Beautiful.
--B. Diehl, author of Ballpoint Penitentiary
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens is a master of dark wit and surreal images. In The Vitamix and the Murder of Crows, crows gather for rituals, a nervous breakdown occurs in the space of an hour, and the fog on the moors of Wuthering Heights comes alive. These poems are meant to be savored; to sit uneasily in the head of the reader. MacBain-Stephens is a poet whose work should be visited again and again.
--Sarah Nichols, author of How Darkness Enters a Body and Dreamland for Keeps (Porkbelly Press)
Jennifer MacBain-Stephens lives in the Midwest and is the author of three full length poetry collections: "Your Best Asset is a White Lace Dress," (Yellow Chair Press, 2016) "The Messenger is Already Dead," (Stalking Horse Press, March 2017,) and “We’re Going to Need a Higher Fence,” tied for first place in the 2017 Lit Fest Book Competition. Her work has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize. She is also the author of nine chapbooks. Her chapbook “She Came Out From Under the Bed, (Poems Inspired by the Films of Guillermo del Toro)” recently came out from Dancing Girl Press. Recent work can be seen at or is forthcoming from Prelude, Kestrel, Yalobusha Review, and decomp,. Visit: http://jennifermacbainstephens.wordpress.com/