Poetry, paperback, 112 pages, from YesYes Books.
O’Neill’s forceful, exceptional debut collection throbs with vitality and bursts with meaning.
Pelican is a generous debut collection of poetry that gifts its audience with an unflinching portrayal of addiction, love, and the blind survival that follows grief. Like bloodied pearls strewn across a nightstand, these poems demand dignity in the face of mayhem.
-Rachel McKibbens, Pink Elephant
In Pelican, sex and death appear in equal measure, interchangeably terrifying in their easy ability to obliterate the self. Each poem is a shaken Polaroid—the moments a little ruined by interaction, the mode of capture slightly outdated, but arresting in their imperfection.
Emily O'Neill is a writer, artist, and proud Jersey girl. Her recent poems can be found in Public Pool, Whiskey Island, and Washington Square, among others. Her debut collection, Pelican, is the inaugural winner of YesYes Books' Pamet River Prize. She is the author of three chapbooks: Celeris (Fog Machine), You Can't Pick Your Genre (Jellyfish Highway), and Make a Fist & Tongue the Knuckles (Nostrovia! Press). She teaches writing at the Boston Center for Adult Education and edits poetry for Wyvern Lit.