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Book Spotlight: Strange Nests by Jessica McHugh

Today Sci-Fi & Scary wants to draw your attention to a book filled with strange, wonderful, and heartbreaking blackout poetry. Read to find out a little more about blackout poetry, Strange Nests, and get an exclusive sample poem below!

What is Blackout Poetry?

Blackout poetry is when a poem is found or created from work that already exists in a different form, such as a classic novel now in the public domain For more information, feel free to check out:

It’s an interesting way of creating art and one that McHugh does well at, in our humble opinions.

About Strange Nests

The cover for Strange Nests by Jessica McHugh. At first it's an old-timey picture of birds sitting on a branch above the next. But then the eye notices that two of the nine birds have been beheaded. Those heads are in the nest below, along with an old-fashioned key.

the secret of dying arrived scrawny. it’s growing stronger & fatter though & whispers,
“go mad.”

Beyond ancient gates, among thorny overgrowth and carnivorous blooms, a raven called Death waits tirelessly for its chance to roost within us. Using scraps of love, remorse, anger, and pain, it weaves. With erasure, memory, and discovery, it binds. And from the garden of wounds that grows within our broken hearts, it builds Strange Nests.

In the follow-up to her Bram Stoker and Elgin Award nominated collection, A Complex Accident of Life, Jessica McHugh uses poetry, design, and illustration to unearth the horrific, consumptive, and transformative nature of grief from the pages of the Frances Hodgson Burnett classic, The Secret Garden.

Stirred To Breathe (a poem from Strange Nests)

As with every poem in Strange Nests, McHugh presents it in two forms. First, the illustrated version in which your eyes are drawn down the page to discover the poem. Second, with the poem extracted and printed alongside it.

Stirred to Breathe from Strange Nests – ©Jessica McHugh
Stirred to Breathe from Strange Nests – ©Jessica McHugh

Though Lilyn declined to do a full review as they didn’t feel they could do it justice, they did post a review on social media.

If Strange Nests seems up your alley, please check it out! It is now available on Amazon:

About Jessica McHugh

Jessica McHugh is a novelist, poet, and internationally-produced playwright running amok in the fields of horror, sci-fi, young adult, and wherever else her peculiar mind leads. She’s had twenty-four books published in twelve years, including her bizarro romp, “The Green Kangaroos,” her YA series, “The Darla Decker Diaries,” and her blackout poetry collection, “A Complex Accident of Life.” Please visit for more samples of the McHughniverse.

Published inBook Spotlight

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