A Collection of Dreamscapes covershot

Poetry by Christina Sng
Raw Dog Screaming Press
April 16, 2020
Reviewed by Brian James Lewis

Howdy fellow speculative poetry fans! This award-winning poet has been nominated multiple times for the Dwarf Stars, Elgin, and Rhysling awards. She also won a Bram Stoker Award in 2017 for her first full length collection of speculative poetry A Collection Of Nightmares. I’m talking about Christina Sng, of course and today we’ll take a look at her most recent release A Collection Of Dreamscapes. Hot off the Raw Dog Screaming Press, this collection is going to turn what we learned as children upside down by empowering those who’ve been victims in fairy tales and mythology. By fixing our near gospel stories into positive tales, Sng is opening a new chapter in a brand-new world. Awesome, right?

A Collection Of Dreamscapes is grouped into chapters, making it easier for readers to look backwards in the looking glass at the new world created by Sng. They are:

The Love Song of Allegra
Fairy Tales
All The Monsters In The World
The Capacity of Violence
Myths And Dreamscapes

While these are lines drawn for reference, they’re not concrete bunkers blocking interplay between characters and the overall vibe of the book. A dreamy quality carries us on silken mists from poem to poem, so we can witness the hard-hitting action.

In Fairy Tales, Christina Sng’s version of Little Red Riding Hood isn’t afraid of the big, bad wolf at all. She’s got a crossbow and is busy drawing blood. The wolf’s tough guy suit is stripped from his shaking frame as he tries to hide from a merciless hunter who isn’t messing around. A quote from “The Woods” reads, “It was time to grow up; Time to hunt predators instead” Cinderella doesn’t hang around waiting for justice that probably isn’t coming, she steps up to her rightful place by becoming a warrior!

All The Monsters In The World gives us a fresh look at things. Sure, we’re all familiar with the classic monsters like Dracula, The Mummy, and Frankenstein, but Sng pulls back the curtain to show us who we really should be afraid of. Humans are pretty damn scary and predatory! Sometimes, in an ironic twist we even create the monsters that are turned against us by the ruling class government(Into The Tall Grass.)

Which brings us to The Capacity Of Violence. From day one of our lives, we are taught that violence is wrong. No fighting at school, don’t hit your brother, etc. So now we’re wimps that will avoid confrontation at any cost. But what if the violence is used to protect those we love or defend ourselves from sexual abuse(The Tooth Collector), cheating spouses(Dolls), and domestic violence(Inheritance)? We all have The Capacity Of Violence, the ability to use the tools given to us at birth. but only few can actually carry it out. Sng’s poems are beautiful because they offer release to victims. Breaking fingers and pulling teeth might sound harsh, but that only happens once. Compare that to the rape victims who re-live their trauma every day and I don’t feel a single bit bad.

Myths And Dreamscapes, along with the opening chapter, Love Songs Of Allegra are about recognizing and rewriting mythology where women take charge and kick ass. None of that fluffy little doll crap! “Moonlight In The Playground” brings science fiction in. There’s a family enjoying a playground, but these folks aren’t native to the planet. A cool surprise!

Overall, A Collection of Dreamscapes, poetry by Christina Sng is FIVE STAR amazing! This is a serious must-have for lovers of dark poetry with speculative, science fiction and fantasy melded together to hit you square in the brain! Everything I’ve read from Raw Dog Screaming Press has been a home run. Once again, they raise the bar! Shout out to Steven Archer for the beautiful cover art. Available at your favorite bookseller or Grab a copy of this fantastic poetry collection today!

Thanks again for reading another review from Damaged Skull Writer! It’s lonely in the Skullcave sometimes, so it is delightful when you drop by. Wishing you peace, health, and safety during the real life horror of the pandemic. Read when you can, so that your mind can soar even when your body is stuck at home!

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