Cynthia Marie Hoffman, "Exploding Head" (Persea Books, 2024)


Exploding Head (Persea Books, 2024) chronicles a woman’s childhood onset and adult journey through obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which manifests in fearful obsessions and counting compulsions that impact her relationship to motherhood, religion, and the larger world. Cynthia Marie Hoffman’s unsettling, image-rich poems chart the interior landscape of the obsessive mind. Along with an angel who haunts the poems’ speaker throughout her life, she navigates her fear of guns and accidents, fears for the safety of her child, and reckons with her own mortality, ultimately finding a path toward peace. Whether or not you have a diagnosis of OCD, these poems will make you feel seen at a deep level that's rare in today's world.

Cynthia Marie Hoffman is the author of Exploding Head (Persea Books, 2024), Call Me When You Want to Talk about the Tombstones (Persea Books, 2018), Paper Doll Fetus (Persea Books, 2014), and Sightseer (Persea Books, 2011). Hoffman is a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, Director’s Guest at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Her poems have appeared in Smartish Pace, Lake Effect, Blackbird, The Believer, The Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere.

To pre-order Exploding Head here. Find Hoffman's writing here.

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