Effy Winter’s poetry is provocative, succulent, and many of her poems will leave you blushing and out-of-breath. Deeply embodied, her work delves into sex, magic, blood, and ritual. With masterful line breaks and a marrow-deep tension, Winter plays with darkness in a way that invokes lore and spirituality in every phrase. Like Plath, Sexton, and Carson, Winter is an exciting and visceral presence in literature.
Effy Winter births poetry from the most sickly and holy places, every piece dripping with visceral duality of erotic religion and gothic romance, like a plague doctor struggling to decide whether to heal or infect others. Winter’s words hang heavy on the tongue, as all great things do, like a mouthful of blood but you can never stop drinking. Every syllable is an intentional pearl, a necklace of work that echoes a lover’s gift and a noose. Winter’s work reads like a vampiric opera, full of macabre theatre and glorious Sapphic worship. I have yet to fall in love with such a powerful voice and point of view as spellbinding as this. With the skillfulness of a necromancer, Winter rises you up from your darkest place and commands you to dance in her legion of deliciously sweet demons. She is a literary powerhouse emerging like a murder of crows and her poetry will beg you to let her kill you as an artistic sacrifice. It is easily some of the best poetry out there today.
Beautiful, complicated and radical, Winter’s work is filled with fervent emotions and a rawness that rattles the soul. Graceful and teeming with romantically macabre language, Effy asks us to reconsider all we think we know about lyricism, poetry and the human experience.
Effy Winter’s poetry is both erotic and holy. It reaches into your sexual core and brings out something sacred. She has a way of making the body into a temple, something seemingly untouchable yet defiled. The formatting utilized in her work assists in its shocking impact, reading like holy script. Her language is biblical and poetic, and even when it’s confrontational, it has a flow. Explicit words are situated between lyrical descriptions, making for an addicting read. Her work brings to mind the likes of Sappho, Pablo Neruda, Aurora Linnea, and Lenore Kandel, but with an even sicker twist. There is the feeling of the Devil sitting and watching as you read, luring you in with his tempestuous debauchery. Her poetry is overwhelming, as it comes like an unexpected storm, and without warning empties into you all of its confessions. I imagine this work crafted in the waiting room of limbo, a small space between heaven and hell. It is obvious she has experienced both, and has a way of describing it with such sentimental familiarity of the body form. It is important to mention some of these pieces could be combined to tell a fuller, flushed story, but in their short passage they remain all the more shocking. The reoccurring themes in this work are of God; the Devil, Sex, Witchcraft, and Menstruation. It is a declaration of the Divine Feminine, work that only a tortured woman could produce.
Winter’s writing pulses with an uncanny heat uncommon in contemporary poetry, the sound repetitions providing the heartbreak capable of shattering and reordering sound and meaning explosively through each line.