Titles 1998-2018

Hothouse, Karyna McGlynn


A New York Times Editors' Choice

Most Anticipated Poetry of 2017, Bustle

Karyna McGlynn takes readers on tour through the half-haunted house of the contemporary American psyche with wit, whimsy, and candid confession. Disappointing lovers surface in the bedroom; in the bathroom, "the drained tub ticks with mollusks & lobsters;" revenge fantasies and death lurk in the basement where they rightly belong. With lush imagery and au courant asides, Hothouse surprises and delights.

For a classroom-ready reader's guide written by the author herself follow this link, and explore more titles with reader's guides in Sarabande in Education

Add To Cart

Additional Info

Karyna McGlynn is the author of I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl (Sarabande Books, 2009), and three chapbooks. Her poems have recently appeared in The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Black Warrior Review, AGNI, Ninth Letter, Witness, and The Academy of American Poet’s Poem-A-Day. McGlynn's honors include the Hopwood Award, the Verlaine Prize, and the Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. She received her PhD from the University of Houston, where she was the Managing Editor of Gulf Coast. She is currently the Diane Middlebrook Fellow in Poetry at the University of Wisconsin where she serves as the Senior Poetry Editor for Devil’s Lake


“McGlynn’s first book, the fabulous (and fabulously titled) I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl, proved that she belonged squarely in the Gurlesque, a loose group of female poets who—combining the burlesque and the grotesque—approach their femininity in a campy way, skewering gender stereotypes. Now, in her glittery, screwball second collection, McGlynn continues to play with the dark comedy afforded by this girly kitsch. . . . Often conjuring the voice of a femme fatale, these cinematic poems are as entertaining and upsetting as “a ruinous sort of hide-and-seek in which / the hider goes to live in another house, / or disappears altogether.”
—New York Times

“She has the instincts of a stand-up comic; she’s always telling a story, making bold statements, making fun of herself, or taking some dark stone out of her pocket and handing it to you. She’s invested in these poems as social experiences, which is refreshing.”
Kenyon Review

“Playful, fun, and morbidly dark, McGlynn’s poetry takes readers through a journey of rogue justice and karma-balancing—the kind that only exists in the deepest annals of your subconscious.”
Bustle, “15 of the Most Anticipated Poetry Collections of 2017”

“[McGlynn’s] second collection delivers, luring readers into a world bawdy yet bright, macabre yet full of magic, and vulnerable yet sharp. . . . McGlynn’s poems masterfully explore the dangers—and wonders—of womanhood, sexuality, and insecurity. . . . These poems, whip-smart, crackling with candor, and pulsing with effervescent language and plush imagery, demand to be read aloud.”

"Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse thrusts readers into a lush world where readers are both voyeur and lover." 
The Los Angeles Review

"Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse is a breathtaking display of human growth, specifically of becoming a woman…. McGlynn's collection blooms wit and candor…. An arresting collection.” 
Jet Fuel Magazine

"Camp, Gurlesque, and New Sincerity in Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse: Review as Digital Collage"

—Jen Town, The Bind

“Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse walks a tightrope without a net, dazzling us with silver sequins and a daredevil grin. It’s a book perfectly balanced between precision and beautiful excess, populated with dames who take-no-prisoners and take-no-shit. These whip-smart, deliciously smutty poems tease out the art in artifice, and the comfort in camp, where love is a performance we can’t stop watching.”
—Rebecca Hazelton, author of Vow

“McGlynn’s rough and sensual poems work to peel away the layers of decorum and expose the messy, gorgeous, and necessary parts that make up the very foundation of being. Hothouse is a book that reads like a good boot-stomping country song in a place where you least expect it and at a time when you most need to hear it.”
—Ada Limón, author of Bright Dead Things

“Karyna McGlynn has me. With these masterful, madcap soliloquies, she beguiles while daring me not to be beguiled. Sexy, yes, but land mined with skepticism, loneliness, and rage. McGlynn performs improvisation but the poems are crafty as hell. It’s a nimble knife act, and oh, the cuts! “If you loved me,” she writes, “you’d call this costume a costume.” Okay, it’s a costume, Karyna. I love you.”
—Diane Seuss, author of Four-Legged Girl

“Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse uses Gurlesque architecture to break open the terrariums of gender in innovative ways. These are 21st century meditations on those intersections of violence, self-awareness, and performance that continue to orbit women like broken satellites. Unflinching and ingenuous, McGlynn masterfully undercuts our expectations of what these intransigents look like when we drag them out of the context of our confined, intimate spaces.”
—Adrian Matejka, author of The Big Smoke

“In Karyna McGlynn’s Hothouse, the female body is axis mundi—the (un)holy center of a revolving universe made from intimate places and relationships. “Memory, if we’re lucky, is the one thing / we’ll never recover from,” writes McGlynn, and the imperfect unions in Hothouse implode with fireworks, tear along their seams, or quietly dissolve in “the bed’s sheath of late afternoon light.” McGlynn is a wild and audacious poet, toeing the line between pleasure and danger, wooing the devil himself and seducing the reader, too, with her magnetism, her lush language, her racy street-smarts.”
—Erika Meitner, author of Copia