Palimpsest, by Courtney Heidorn-Print Books-Bottlecap Press

Palimpsest, by Courtney Heidorn

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Courtney Heidorn
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Poetry, chapbook, 28 pages, from Bottlecap Features.

Oxford Languages defines a palimpsest as “something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.” Palimpsest follows the path from girlhood to maturity, yet still bears youth’s early scars in every utterance.

The poems in Courtney Heidorn’s debut chapbook begin with the giddiness of a first sapphic love: unexplainable desire, and, inevitably, heartbreak. The reader will track the invaluable knowledge learned from love’s devotion but will quickly feel the growing pains of womanhood. The throughline in Palimpsest is heartbreak—a special nuance of grief. These poems prove that heartbreak is not just romantic. It is familial, maternal, personal, and, if the reader lets it be, therapeutic.

Palimpsest is adolescence outstretched: tangible evidence of the edits and revisions one has to make in the face of grief. It is innocence in love turned inward; it is learning to mother oneself.

Courtney Heidorn (she/they) is a 22-year-old lesbian poet from Seattle, Washington. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Azusa Pacific University. In her writing, she is most interested in how poetry intersects with queerness, activism, and motherhood. You can see more of their work in Wild Shrew Literary Review, CURIOUS Magazine, and Pearl Press, among others. You can find them at palimpsestpoems on Instagram and Substack.