The Hatch, by Joe Fletcher

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The Hatch
by Joe Fletcher

Pub Date: June 1, 2018
120 Pages
Pbk ISBN-13: 9781936767540
Ebook ISBN-13: 9781936767564

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“I will do such things,” King Lear shouts before the storm, “What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be / The terrors of the earth.”

Drawing upon Edmund Burke’s definition of the sublime—the odd beauty associated with fear and self-preservation; our astonished delight in what destroys, what overpowers and compels us toward darkness—these strange poems mine the sinister fault lines between weird fiction, expressionism, gothic horror, and notions of the absurd, cracking the mundane shell of our given metaphysical order. In the traditions of Nerval, Trakl, Schulz, Tadić, Poe, and contemporaries Aase Berg and Jeff VanderMeer, the wonderful disassociation brought to bear on the reader lies in the conjuring of unprecedented worlds, their myths and logics, their visions and transformations—worlds that resist interpretation almost successfully, and reveal to us the uncanny and nightmarish.

“The nightmare and the images enter the reader imperceptibly and lead our gaze toward a new form of attention, a dark cutting pain paired with a strangely wonderful sense of delight. The Hatch is another real world.”

Aase Berg

“Joe Fletcher casts gorgeous, vivid images in highly controlled, elegantly crafted sentences. His speakers move through menacing landscapes and weird tableaux, inviting comparisons to Jerzy Kosinski’s beautifully nightmarish The Painted Bird; the tales of the Brothers Grimm; and even worlds conjured by such science fiction writers as James E. Gunn and Brian Aldiss. Fletcher moves from one intuition to the next with a confidence tempered by negative capability, creating constant surprise and its attendant pleasures. You should read this book.”

Geoffrey Nutter

The Hatch is a wild read. The momentum of these poems feels like a voice on a journey, more like a mission, like a night expedition into the dark of poetry. There is an uneasiness of expression throughout. It is a brilliant and original first book.”

Peter Gizzi

Publishers Weekly: “Fletcher conjures a dizzying array of fantastical and macabre imagery in his debut collection, which features lyric narratives and flash fictions that evoke the original versions of the Grimms’ fairy tales, Pagan rituals, and horror films. Fletcher’s inventive and technically proficient collection is as wicked as it is weird.”

Interview at The Brooklyn Rail: “As for how the uncanny manifests…it’s just been central to the literature—lyric and otherwise—and art I’ve always loved.”

Kenyon Review: “Joe Fletcher’s The Hatch finds this intersection in the well-known realm of the uncanny: where the familiar is strange and the strange becomes familiar, Fletcher marshals a wealth of styles, forms, tones, and images to create a collection that indeed gets under your skin, especially on the second and third reads.”

Horror Addicts: “Fletcher’s style rocks you out of your comfort zone and causes you to scramble for the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Furious Gazelle, Colin Boyd: “Fletcher communicates an undeniable resolve to create exactly the art he wants to in as comprehensive a form as possible. Anyone in search of a contemporary twist on psychological horror need not look any further than The Hatch.”

decomP Magazine, Spencer Dew: “The title has a double valence, a hatch being that often unexpected opening, the section of floorboard with a certain hollow sound, the shifting panel half-hidden within the wall, a portal between otherwise separate spaces, yet a hatch, too, is a new brood, creatures freshly—often wetly, and blind with hunger—birthed into the world.”

Hellnotes, Brian James Lewis: “Highly recommended! A definite two thumbs up! This is refreshing and powerful stuff! Exactly what I want to show people who still think that all poetry is overly ornate, perfectly rhyming greeting card fodder. Joe Fletcher’s writing is very original and has qualities that will appeal to many readers. I think that those who enjoy speculative fiction, weird tales, and dark poetry will really enjoy The Hatch! But it’s certainly not limited to just us. Anyone who’s looking for a collection of real poetry that connects solidly with readers will dig it, too.”

Jason Denness: “This book of poetry/prose/flash fiction is way before it’s time, to fully appreciate this work you need to be living in a dystopian future where the survivors are few, buildings are in ruin and people are a little bit mad. This is the first thing I have read by Joe Fletcher and it certainly isn’t going to be the last.” “It’s exciting to discover a new poet who is building powerful, unsettling worlds of eldritch imagery. Reading The Hatch is like reading a collection of horror fiction, but also not.  The imagery is the power.  But, like in good horror fiction, the “reveals” when they come reveal only more mystery, and in precisely the right way. The worlds Fletcher builds conjure feelings that will stick with me for a long time.  It’s like early Ligotti–Grimscribe or so–but also something else.  Something that’s new and powerful and wonderful.  And the questions these new feelings raise are harrowing in precisely the right way.” “The morning after I finished reading The Hatch, I woke up with scratches on my body. Three fine lines down my ribs, like delicate nails dragged across skin that rarely sees sun. A small gouge on my left hip, deep enough to have already begun scabbing over. Two loose flaps of skin on the knuckles of my right middle and ring fingers, as though I’d punched a wall.”

Joe Fletcher is the author of the full-length collection, The Hatch (Brooklyn Arts Press) and three chapbooks: Kola Superdeep Borehole (Bateau Press), Already It Is Dusk (Brooklyn Arts Press) and Sleigh Ride (Factory Hollow Press). Other work of his can be found at jubilat, Octopus, Slope, Gulf Coast, Painted Bride Quarterly, Hollins Critic, Puerto del Sol, and online. Joe teaches in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in the North Carolina prison system. He is the Managing Editor of the William Blake Archive.



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