by Andrea Blythe
Winner of the SFPA Elgin Award - 2nd Place, chapbooks
Twelve is a poetic retelling of the Brothers Grimm fairytale "The Twelve Dancing Princesses." Bewitching and beguiling, this short series of linked poems takes the reader to the underground realm and back, following the stories of twelve princesses and their life after the magic shoes.
About the Author
Andrea Blythe bides her time waiting for the apocalypse by writing speculative poetry and fiction. She is the author of Your Molten Heart / A Seed to Hatch (2018) a collection of erasure poems created from the pages of Trader Joe’s Fearless Flyers, and coauthor of Every Girl Becomes the Wolf (Finishing Line Press, 2018), a collaborative chapbook written with Laura Madeline Wiseman. She is a cohost of the New Books in Poetry podcast and is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association and the Horror Writers Association. Find her on Twitter @AndreaBlythe or at www.andreablythe.com.
Advance Praise for Twelve:
"These wants are told in dense, textured prose poems, each just a few pages long. The language is heavy with detail that gives life to the princesses' motivations, rooting these desires in a rich and tangible world. Often, it's the world of domesticity––the expected world, for princesses. But it's made, through their agency, into something entirely new." --Barrelhouse
"Andrea Blythe's 'Twelve' is an accessible, enjoyable read that brings to life the wonder, mystery and nostalgia of the fairytale genre that all of our first favourite stories were built on and helps us reimagine them with a new feminist slant. They show us a new happy ending in a world where women don't compete but unapologetically achieve in being themselves, binding them as sisters by casting them as the protagonist in their own stories." --Like An Open Book Blog
"In Twelve, Andrea Blythe manages to pull off a modern retelling in spectacular fashion whilst retaining the elements of fairytales and storytelling which all of its fans love. Taking each sister one by one, Blythe dedicates each of the Twelve Princesses with their own unique voice and identity giving fresh substance and purpose to the once subservient, archaic damsels-in-distress in search of their prince." --Biblioshelf
"Andrea Blythe’s collection Twelve takes a centuries-old fairytale and reworks it as a feminist narrative. In doing so, Blythe not only moves the tale beyond “Happily Ever After” into a more honest story, but forces her readers to think about fairytales in general and how they affect readers. She does this with well-crafted language that is both easy and quick to read, but also striking and hypnotizing in its imagery. Fans of dark fantasy and folkloric horror will thoroughly enjoy this collection." - Joshua Gage, Cemetery Dance
“Andrea Blythe’s collection of the retold (and often feminist) Brothers Grimm fairytale, 'The Twelve Dancing Princesses,' is a breath of air at the bottom of the ocean. It’s not only fresh, but it’s so different and unique that it deserves multiple reads. One of my favorite lines in the book is also something we should all ask ourselves, ‘Do you mean it?’” --Joanna C. Valente, author of Marys of the Sea and editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault
“Hearkening back to when Grimm's tales were less fairy, more formidable, Andrea Blythe offers a rhythmic, alliterative retelling of traditional stories that reveal a stark imbalance between genders. An engaging and eerie tribute to the young girls and women who read, dance, and keep things clean, Twelve does exactly what her storyteller suggests of her characters: it ‘see[s] the truth beneath the pretty surface.’” --Christina M. Rau, Elgin Award winning author of Liberating The Astronauts
“A delightful deviation from the known tale ‘The Twelve Dancing Princesses,’ Blythe’s retelling offers an inspiring and poetic account of what can happen when women take back their power. The language is beautifully selected for each sister’s story -- and each one has been carefully crafted to have an individual voice, yet we feel the strength of the bond that ties them. Within, we are granted glances into enchantment and passion, to lyrical attractions that will have you spinning breathless from page to page.” --Sara Tantlinger, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Devil’s Dreamland
"The prose poems of Twelve shimmer like precious stones, each reflecting the original fairy tale in strange, beautiful, and unsettling ways-- and when set together, they become a mosaic of womanhood in all its forms.” --Cassandra Rose Clarke, Rhysling Award-winning author of Sacred Summer