Vanity Twist, by Iain Grinbergs-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Vanity Twist, by Iain Grinbergs

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Iain Grinbergs
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Poetry, chapbook, 40 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Vanity Twist is an existential exploration of non-normative love, loss, and desire. It has more questions than answers. It revels in “low” and “high” culture. It is a success and a failure, a celebration and a mourning.

The collection toys with traditional forms and free verse to create a unique collection full of tension, which is articulated by a playful poetic voice. Self-acceptance is the main concern throughout. Ultimately, Vanity Twist is a reminder that you can find a path through trauma in poetry.

"Full of wonder, spontaneity, and heart-breaking candor, Vanity Twist explores the ways in which our desires do and don’t define us, how our first loves are often the most indelible, and how language itself might begin to heal the ruptures and fissures of a life lived on the move, if not on the run. With an eye as painterly as it is unflinching, Grinbergs delivers a singular testament to the human need for understanding and self-acceptance, but it is the voice, the page bursting with personality, that will keep me returning to these poems and eagerly awaiting the ones that will follow."

—James Kimbrell

"Vanity Twist is resplendent with images that shouldn't go together but do in the most miraculous fashion imaginable. Van Gogh is juxtaposed with drag queens, fish pie with a 'certain blond-haired boy,' and Zen Buddhism and geese skirt the dark edges of a consciousness trapped in an unwelcoming world. Always surprising, these poems give the reader a ringside seat at the technicolor circus that is Iain Grinbergs' mind. A stunning debut."

—Barbara Hamby

Iain Grinbergs is an assistant professor of English at the College of Central Florida. He received his PhD in English from Florida State University. He was a runner-up in the 2023 Tennessee Williams and New Orleans Literary Festival’s Saints and Sinners Poetry Contest, a semifinalist in Conduit Magazine’s 2022 Marystina Santiestevan First Book Prize, and a finalist in Black Lawrence Press’s Fall 2021 Black River Chapbook Competition. Vanity Twist is his first published poetry collection.