Monday 6 June 2022


In the county, eerie stillness can be mistaken for stagnation. In the county, rumination on pain and guilt can be confused with omens and curses. In the county, feelings of claustrophobia stem from understanding what the encroaching darkness brings with it.

You’ve heard of country girls, and city girls, but what of the forgotten girls from the in-between space of the county? Confronting the things too wild for urban areas, and too methodically malevolent for the countryside, girls from the county are often dismissed by popular narratives, left to solve riddles of grief and rage for themselves.

Known for weaving folk horror with confessional poetry, unflinching true crime approaches with myth and fable, contemporary appetites with gothic literature, award-winning author Donna Lynch has composed a lyrical reconstruction for readers to navigate the lives—and deaths—of girls from the county.

I've said this before and I'll say it again, I always get excited when I receive a poetry collection from RDSP because they publish some gems. So, I want to start by thanking Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi and Raw Dog Screaming Press for sending me a copy of this upcoming collection.

This haunting book starts with two sets of very interesting Notes from the author. Both give an insight into the words and set the tone for the pieces found within this slim paperback. 

Well, it might be slim, but every word matters. Every poem that Donna Lynch has shared with us bleeds on the page, and weighs on your soul. I loved every single poem I read, because they're all beautifully written and weave their way into your heart and mind with the sheer rawness and honest truth at the core of each small horror.

Every word painted a heavy and not very pretty picture. The reality of what's written on every page hits hard because whether we're from county, suburb or city, we've all heard the stories. We've all watched the news and are very familiar with the dangerous world girls live in. The many situations that could start as happy, but just as easily slip into terror.

I was captivated from start to finish, and actually read this book in one sitting because the distressing and true nature kept me turning the page.

This is a fantastic collection. The words might be lovely and lyrical, but the subject matter is uncomfortable and dark, so confronting. The very real lives fictionalised in these beautiful poems are all somewhat familiar and quite sad.

If you're into poetry that reveals intricate, emotional tales about the lurking dangers that shadow girls every moment of their lives, then you should definitely check this out.

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