Double Jinx (back cover)

Double Jinx

“Channels the vibe and energy of Plath and Sexton.”
Select Format

Selected for the National Poetry Series by Alex Lemon, Double Jinx follows the multiple transformations—both figurative and literal—that accompany adolescence and adulthood, particularly for young women. Drawing inspiration from sources as varied as Ovid’s Metamorphoses, the fairy tales in Anne Sexton’s Transformations, and the shifting dreamscapes of Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s work, these poems track speakers as they make and remake themselves.

A series of poems depict the character of Nancy Drew as she delves into an obsession with a doppelgänger. Cinderella wakes up to a pumpkin and a tattered dress after her prince grows tired of her. A young girl obsessed with fairy tales becomes fascinated with a copy of Gray’s Anatomy in which she finds a “pink girl pinned to the page as if in vivisection. Could she / be pink inside like that? No decent girl / would go around the world like that, uncooked.”

The collection produces an understanding of the ways we construct ourselves, whether by way of imitation, performance, or transformation. And it looks forward as well, for in coming to understand our identities as essentially malleable, we are liberated. Or, as the author writes, “we’ll be our own gods now.”

Publish Date
5.5 × 8.5 × 0.3 in
4.8 oz

Nancy Reddy

Nancy Reddy is the author of Double Jinx, the 2014 winner of the National Poetry Series, selected by Alex Lemon. She is Assistant Professor of Writing and First Year Studies at Stockton University in southern New Jersey.

Praise and Prizes

  • “Nancy Reddy is a live wire who uses a knife-tip focus and intellect to filigree, with raw exactitude, issues of femininity and the domestic. Reddy’s range—the familial, fairy tale, myth and theology, popular culture—allow her poems to unravel and embody the seething mystery, the metamorphosis, the often inherent violence in womanhood… . Palpable with disquiet, the absolute clarity of these poems will haunt the reader. Double Jinx is a brilliant first book, profound and fierce.”

    Alex Lemon
  • “Nancy Reddy’s exquisitely crafted poems perform an exploration of woman’s manifold selves. Using the conceit of the stage, intimate spaces—family, home, the love letter—are lit ‘bright as a spotlight’ by the poet’s eye, compelling us to examine questions of self-identity, desire, and escape. Double Jinx is a book that holds its audience spellbound.”

    Rebecca Dunham
  • Double Jinx is a sprawling landscape shaped and reshaped by unpredictable and uncontrollable forces—namely, violence and desire. At the same time, the book tempers its storms with darkly tender and nostalgic moments, revealing a human world in which docility wrestles with ferocity, in which each person wears many masks and costumes because performance is a means of survival. Soon the domestic and the wild become indistinguishable. Nancy Reddy is the most deft of magicians.”

    Sara Eliza Johnson
  • Double Jinx is an absolute delight. With enormous imaginative energy, this book offers ‘a chorus of girls,’ from daughter to sister to wife, from Nancy Drew to the girls in fairy tales, and from a beauty queen to a girl who lives in a terrarium. A genealogy of girlhood, Nancy Reddy’s book has the power to enchant just as it unsettles.”

    Nicole Cooley
  • “In her debut collection, Nancy Reddy plays with a variety of forms as she weaves sharp images and dark narratives about femininity, faith, and family… . She channels the vibe and energy of Plath and Sexton, but it’s her arresting language that’s the real draw here.”

    Publishers Weekly