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Paper Doll Fetus
Cynthia Marie Hoffman

A Rumpus Poetry Book Club selection

These visceral, mystical poems give voice to a surprising population from the world of obstetrics. While some of their speakers are conventional (mothers, doctors, midwives), many are embryonic (a phantom child speaks from a nun’s womb; the titular paper doll fetus, flattened in utero, addresses its robust twin) and others aren’t human or even biological (a strap on a gurney depicts the woman it restrained; an embryonic sketch describes its incomplete rendering). Part spell-book, part anatomical primer, Paper Doll Fetus surveys the womb and its environs, and offers us a haunting chorus of its denizens.

“This book fascinates, surprises, engages, and enlightens on well-trodden subject matter; it is an achievement among contemporary project books.”
—Camille-Yvette Welsch, Foreword Reviews

“In Paper Doll Fetus, Cynthia Marie Hoffman creates one beautiful inhabitation after another, each a feat of dizzying perspective and musical dexterity. I have not encountered such a moving and terrifying collection of poems in years.”
—Kevin Prufer

Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of SightseerCall Me When You Want to Talk About the Tombstones and the chapbook Her Human Costume. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Paperback / $15.95 (Can $17.95) / ISBN 978-0-89255-448-5/ 58 pages / Poetry