Friday, February 9, 2018

The Violence Within by Courtney LeBlanc

This collection of poems focuses on violence, mostly toward women both from external forces - abusive partners, society - and internal forces - the violence women do to ourselves to fit the roles society has insisted upon. 


“These poems – vulnerable, resilient, graceful – are a testament to the power of poetry. We are given violence here, yes, but more importantly, perhaps, we are given strength in the aftermath of violence, the resolve to make out of language a new home. Courtney’s work is an act of rebuilding – the poet in the wreckage, each line another wall plastered back together, another shingle for the roof. Poem by poem, she builds this house. When she is done, we stand in it together, surviving, breathing. We don’t deserve this generosity, but Courtney delivers it, each poem “a gentle reminder of how / we could break one another.” Read it. Carry it each day like the weather.” 

- Devin Kelly, author of In This Quiet Church of Night I Say Amen (CCM Press, 2017)

““I knew we would both be broken”, Courtney LeBlanc writes in her new chapbook, The Violence Within. And we are broken – LeBlanc’s speaker, her readers, her subjects, all of us. This stunning collection chronicles that brokenness, guides us from the cracking of plaster and glass to the shattering of bones and hearts, and it does so unflinchingly. In these poems, LeBlanc has woven a sequence that walks deep into the abyss of abuse, where every kiss is a gun about to fire, where every page in a journal is about to be torn in pieces, where every star is a catalog necessary to fight against forgetting and excusing. But what is remarkable about these poems isn’t the careful details of violence (though those are remarkable). What is remarkable is how these poems change and are changed by their creation. And what is admirable is how we are changed by reading. This collection truly is a gorgeous gift.”
- Anthony Frame, author of Where Wind Meets Wing (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2018)


Courtney LeBlanc is the author of the chapbook All in the Family (Bottlecap Press) and is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte. Her poetry is published or forthcoming in Public Pool, Rising Phoenix Review, The Legendary, Germ Magazine, Quail Bell Magazine, Brain Mill Press, and others. She loves nail polish, wine, and tattoos. Read her blog at, follow her on twitter:, or find her on facebook:

34 pages, 23 poems

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