The Convert's Heart is Good to Eat
Review by Hailey Small on The Sundress Blog.
“Melody Gee’s gorgeous poems offer both divine wounds and delicious consolations. At the intersections of the familial and the sacred, The Convert’s Heart is Good to Eat reminds us that what is created is also consumed. Beautiful, sensory, and aching, this collection reminds us that not all hungers are mortal ones.”
– Traci Brimhall, author of Our Lady of the Ruins
“Melody S. Gee’s The Convert’s Heart Is Good to Eat is a book of captivating intensity and precision. This compact collection reveals a talent and range that are rare in recent books of poems by American poets. Deeply evocative, Gee’s lyric meditations on motherhood, being a daughter, and on how one shapes a voice for an adult convert are as necessary as food and water for the living soul.”
– Eugene Gloria, author of Sightseer in this Killing City
“These are gorgeous poems of hunger and grace. Melody S. Gee explores the convert’s relationship with faith and who we become through conversion. She crafts grief and loss into a new kind of knowing, how “a spill will always take a shape, a floating/map of damage.” The Convert’s Heart is Good to Eat is a feast, a welcome arrival, a stellar book to savor and devour.”
– Lee Herrick, author of Scar and Flower
Through the poetry of desire and faith, of motherhood and childhood, Melody S. Gee’s The Convert’s Heart Is Good to Eat offers an unflinching exploration of how the flesh and the spirit suffer wounds and yearn to be healed. These poems create and undo themselves in the most surprising and loveliest of ways. This book will make you believe.
– W. Todd Kaneko, author of This Is How the Bone Sings
“What happens when the call of spirit utterly changes a life? “To be consoled begins with grief,” Melody S. Gee writes, and I think about that prefix, con: how it means “with” in Latin; how Gee’s book is a chronicle of being with: with God, and with parents, children, and the old self, in the light of new faith. I thought too of the word concord—to “heart” with another. How do I walk in concord? This is the primary question of Gee’s moving book.”
– Dana Levin, author of Now Do You Know Where You Are
The Dead in Daylight
“A fiercely feminine blood runs through these poems. Of wire, of salt, of harvest, of motherhood, of daughterhood, and all that these elements lay claim to. The Dead in Daylight reveals an astonishing voice that is equal parts ferocious and tender. Melody S. Gee’s collection builds a generous fire where origin is praised and where history shines beyond the flame.”
– Tina Chang
“Melody S. Gee’s poems reveal the tethers and the hooks of the past. Beautifully strange and intimate, her language maps the push and pull of motherhood and familial history. A deftly chiseled voice speaks and sings in this book; it’s a voice that’s original and immediate. Striking images attend to both the uncanny and the sublime. In one poem, we’re given ‘a forest of doors.’ In another, the ‘throat shiver of music.’ The Dead in Daylight is one of the best books I’ve read this year.”
-Eduardo C. Corral
The Dead in Daylight named a long-list finalist for the 2016 Julie Suk Award.
Each Crumbling House
“Melody Gee’s Each Crumbling House is a tale of return not marked by triumph, but of a palpable absence. The poems’ speakers “count arrows of exiled/geese” to know not only about what it is to feel cold, but what it is to leave home. There is comfort here, too: in the spaces of longing, an understanding is reached upon the return to homeland. While the speakers are reaching for ways to name the pain of lost histories and lost relatives, “always/a word away from the word,” Melody Gee’s poems are full of the right words, folding and unfolding the way that wings do from the mass clusters of Monarch butterflies wintering in the pines, huddling together for warmth.”
-Oliver de la Paz
“Melody Gee proves to us through her poetry that first-generation Asian American experiences still matter and will always matter. But even more so, her quietly unsettling and powerful book speaks to the whole human experience through its exploration of inheritance. These are haunting poems about culture, nature, and ultimately about love.”