My Dark Horses

BookMy Dark Horses

My Dark Horses

Pavilion Poetry


April 11th, 2017

Access Token


Other Formats



Set against the charms and vicissitudes of growing up in a family of musicians, Jodie Hollander’s beautifully-structured and compelling debut follows the story of a daughter’s maturing relationship with her mother. Interspersed with versions of Rimbaud, and always alert to the surreal comedy of the human condition, these powerful and immediate poems chart with huge passion, musicality and insight a complex journey towards familial understanding and reconciliation.

Compass Magazine

'For some, childhood innocence erodes slowly with each new experience. The lucky ones get to occupy this safe, uncomplicated realm – at least for a time. The longevity of this illusion often depends on the adults around us. For Jodie Hollander’s protagonist, the illusion is broken at a young age, a recurring sensation that is explored throughout My Dark Horses.'
Lucy Winrow, The Poetry School

'This is a technically competent, enjoyable collection which will bear repeated re-readings. At its heart, it is a book about processing and recovering. You will feel your humanity strengthened by reading it.'
Charlotte Wetton, The High Window

'Magnificent...a vast pallette of emotion.'
Robert Ham, The Portland Mercury

'The nice thing about the expression “dark horse” is that it applies whether the horse wins or not: it captures the possibility of breakout, and then admits the unlikelihood of it.'

'Jodie Hollander’s powerful debut collection is as hypnotic and rich as a dream ... Hollander’s are finely tuned and strongly narrative poems, crafted with strong openings that immediately draw the reader in.'
Suzannah V. Evans, Times Literary Supplement

'The poems in this collection, both blunt and lyric, stoic and tender, roll over the palate like the flavors of a complex dish.'
Donna Vorreyer, Rhino Poetry


‘A torrent of shocking and revelatory poetry simmers between the covers of My Dark Horses, pulling the reader in with the very first poem…It takes great courage to write of love, grief, abuse, and survival with such unflinching honesty.’
Erica Goss, Pedestal Magazine

Author Information

Jodie Hollander was raised in a family of classical musicians. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Poetry Review, The Dark Horse, The Rialto, Verse Daily, The Warwick Review, The Manchester Review, Australia’s Best Poems, 2011, and Australia’s Best Poems of 2015. Her debut pamphlet, The Humane Society, was released with Tall-Lighthouse in 2012. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship in South Africa, and was awarded a MacDowell Colony fellowship in 2015.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Splitting and Fucking11
The Metronome14
The Talking Tree16
The Humane Society17
Romancing Herself19
Après Le Deluge20
Little Serenade21
A Cactus23
Mother’s Wrists24
Transporting the Piano26
The Chicken Lady27
Mother’s Tomato Plants28
How to Fry a Chicken30
The Fat Lady’s Arms31
Talking in Lamu32
The Sound of Scissors33
The Glass Elephants35
The Storm Horse37
The Ferret38
The Red Tricycle40
A Music Stand41
Horse Bones43
Skyping with my Mother44
A Box45
The Last Time I Saw Her47
Speaking with the Dead48
Mother’s Persian Rugs50
Caprice for Violin51
Dream of a Burning Woman53
The Last Breakfast54
Historic Evening56
Shopping for Overalls in Milwaukee61
Wild Horses63
My Mother’s Will Emailed in pdf64
Victoria Park65
First Storm66
A Daughter67
Hawthornden Cemetery69
Zero Hour71
My Brother’s Violin72
The Family Freezer74
A Friend Request75
Feeding the Horses76
Lake Park78
White Horse80
My Dark Horses83