Defining | Tasslyn Magnusson
"In her stunning debut chapbook, Defining, Tasslyn Magnusson delves unflinchingly into the experience and ramifications of childhood sexual abuse. A dictionary-like format lends crucial structure to this personal history—simultaneously allowing the reader a small amount of emotional distance from the disturbing scenes to which we are forced to bear witness, while also adding an intriguing dimension of linguistic subtlety. Each poem invites us to consider the many layers and facets of a word, and the different ways in which language can be employed to define and redefine the self. We put down this collection distressed at the traumas endured by too many children, but also amazed at the possibility of reclaiming oneself through words. "
-Molly Beth Griffin, author of the novel Silhouette of a Sparrow, several picture books, and the poetry collections Under Our Feet and All the Hollow Places
"Tasslyn Magnusson begins her book, Defining, by stating she dreams To be no more. Then she unerringly selects the letters from the alphabet which allow her to define, consider, and, we pray(not prey), recover from childhood abuse, and recover, too, from silence that surrounded it, and the refusal of loved ones to believe her. I love the flat affect of this collection, the gathering of only the words she needs to tell what must be told. I love the confidence of this voice, and I love the hard alphabetical path she makes us follow. We stay on the path with her because this collection is strong, heart-breaking, and resolute."
-Deborah Keenan author of ten collections of poetry, and a book of writing ideas, from tiger to prayer
Tasslyn Magnusson received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN. Her poems have been published in Room Magazine, The Raw Art Review: A Journal of Storm and Urge, andRed Weather Online.