Tagged: Tortured Willows

Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Angela Yuriko Smith’s Sneak Peek

  1. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Lee Murray’s Sneak Peek
  2. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Geneve Flynn’s Sneak Peek
  3. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Christina Sng’s Sneak Peek
  4. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Angela Yuriko Smith’s Sneak Peek

A preview of ‘Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken’

Angela Yuriko Smith

 

Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken

Poetry by Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, and Geneve Flynn

 

I’m delighted to present Tortured Willows, a collaborative collection of 60 poems exploring otherness, expectation, and tradition. 

 

What began as a deepening of the conversation based on the multi-award-winning anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women became a discovery of a culture silenced and traded. This series of poems opened up a Pandora’s Box for me. I began by writing about how my grandmother lost her name (Yuriko) because Caucasians couldn’t pronounce it. As I scratched the surface of what it means to be Okinawan, or more accurately Uchinanchu, my world pivoted. This is not about a woman losing her voice, but a culture—a people—losing everything. 

  (more…)

Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Christina Sng’s Sneak Peek

  1. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Lee Murray’s Sneak Peek
  2. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Geneve Flynn’s Sneak Peek
  3. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Christina Sng’s Sneak Peek
  4. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Angela Yuriko Smith’s Sneak Peek

A preview of ‘Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken’

Christina Sng

 

Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken

Poetry by Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, and Geneve Flynn

 

Tortured Willows is a collaborative collection comprising 60 poems expanding on the themes of otherness, expectation, and tradition that were introduced in our multi-award-winning anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Awards). 

 

I am a fourth-generation Singaporean-Chinese. My paternal grandparents were Peranakan and Teochew-Cantonese, while my maternal grandparents were Hakka and Cantonese. In Tortured Willows, I write about the horror stories and mythologies I grew up with from a unique blend of multiculturalism, modernism, and tradition.

  (more…)

Epeolatry Book Review: Tortured Willows by Lee Murray, Geneve Flynn, Christina Sng, & Angela Yuriko Smith

Disclosure:

Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken
Author: Lee Murray, Angela Yuriko Smith, Christina Sng and Geneve Flynn
Genre: Horror Poetry
Publisher: Yuriko Publishing
Release Date: 7th October, 2021

Synopsis: The willow is femininity, desire, death. Rebirth. With its ability to grow from a single broken branch, it is the living embodiment of immortality. It is the yin that wards off malevolent spirits. It is both revered and shunned.

In Tortured Willows, four Southeast Asian women writers of horror expand on the exploration of otherness begun with the Bram Stoker Award-winning anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women.

Like the willow, women have bent and bowed under the expectations and duty heaped upon them. Like the willow, they endure and refuse to break.

With exquisite poetry, Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, and Geneve Flynn invite you to sit beneath the tortured willow’s gravid branches and listen to the uneasy shiver of its leaves.

Before cracking open Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken, I knew this poetry collection would be honest and raw.  However, I was not prepared for the collection’s level of horror and heartbreak. Throughout this work, it’s evident that the authors opened their veins and bled themselves onto the pages. 

Lee Murray, Geneve Flynn, Christina Sng, and Angela Yukiro Smith weave poetic tales of mental, emotional, and physical abuse against Asian women. The tales end with either the ultimate sacrifice or a rising from the flames. 

News and media talk about prejudices against Asian women. Documentaries delve into the racism and sexism that is sometimes associated with Asian diaspora. Tortured Willows takes us onto a deeper, personal level through poetry regaled to us by Asian women authors who allegorically write about experiences of cruelty from prejudice, tradition, and the patriarchy. Tortured Willows is a haunting outcry that mistreatment of women will no longer be tolerated. The representation of the willow tree symbolizes strength and tenacity. The willow bends against hard blows but never breaks—it continues to bounce back and carry on. 

Tortured Willows is a perfect accompaniment to the award-winning short story collection Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (edited by Geneve Flynn and Lee Murray) to showcase the need to move beyond antiquated roles of tradition and injustices. 

Lee Murray’s poetry is a quiet, but raw and macabre fury that unrelentingly exposes several hundreds of years of suffering and misery placed upon Asian women. Through this literary form, Murray depicts self-sacrifice as a surrender for expectations, love, and the ideal of acceptance. Her poem “Exquisite” left me in tears.

Pay attention. You think it will not matter, but it will. -Geneve Flynn

Geneve Flynn takes several poetry forms and morphs them into her own. In “Her Gradual Hero”, Flynn uses the sonnet, typically used to express love, to convey gaslighting. “Abridge” is blackout poetry executed in a spectacular fashion, and she exposes us to the pantoum (a Malay poetic form) in “When the Girls Began to Fall”. The creativity breathed into Flynn’s poetry exemplifies her writing strength and talent all the while bringing focus to inequity. Pay special attention to “Mouth, and Feet, and Hands, and Eyes” and “Inheritance”. 

Christina Sng lyrically scripts revenge for mistreatment and murder in her poetry. She is quite gifted with paranormal fiction, and through this collection she shows us that her poetry is as strong as her fiction. Sng’s work is full of sorrow and anger as her female ghosts seek revenge against those who have wronged them through racial and sexist discriminations. 

And finally, Angela Yukiro Smith poetry is a historic and cultural journey through time. Her work shines a light on matriarch celebration and casts shadows over the oppressive patriarchy. Smith’s poetry properly rounds out this full collection to show the unbendable nature of the willow and women. 

Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken is an eye-opening, soul exposing journey, and a solid continuation of Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women. Both collections demonstrate that women will not go quietly into the night.

out of 5 ravens.

Available from TBA.

Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Geneve Flynn’s Sneak Peek

  1. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Lee Murray’s Sneak Peek
  2. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Geneve Flynn’s Sneak Peek
  3. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Christina Sng’s Sneak Peek
  4. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Angela Yuriko Smith’s Sneak Peek

A preview of ‘Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken’

Geneve Flynn

 

Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken

Poetry by Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, and Geneve Flynn

 

I’m thrilled to introduce Tortured Willows, a collaboration by four authors from the Bram Stoker® and Shirley Jackson Award-winning anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women which continues the exploration of otherness, expectation, and tradition. 

 

In writing for this collection, I had to be brave on two counts: it was my very first foray into poetry; and I would be writing about deeply political issues and challenging cultural norms. Asian women are expected to be gentle, quiet, accepting. To be outraged and outspoken is such a foreign state. Tortured Willows allowed me, once again, to step into this space. 

  (more…)

Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Lee Murray’s Sneak Peek

  1. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Lee Murray’s Sneak Peek
  2. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Geneve Flynn’s Sneak Peek
  3. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Christina Sng’s Sneak Peek
  4. Guest Post: Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken Angela Yuriko Smith’s Sneak Peek

A preview of ‘Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken’

Lee Murray

 

Tortured Willows—Bent. Bowed. Unbroken

Poetry by Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, Lee Murray, and Geneve Flynn

 

I’m delighted to join my Crane sisters—Christina Sng, Angela Yuriko Smith, and Geneve Flynn—to bring you Tortured Willows, a collaborative collection comprising 60 poems expanding on the themes of otherness, expectation, and tradition that were introduced in our multi-award-winning anthology Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women (Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson Awards). With a foreword by dark fiction writer, poet, and historian, K.P. Kulski, the author of Fairest Flesh, and a stunning cover design by Kyra Starr, Tortured Willows releases on Poetry Day, 7 October 2021, from Yuriko Publishing. Today, I’m excited to give readers of The Horror Tree an advance peek of one of my poems from the collection:

(more…)