Red Riding Hood's Real Life
a novel in verse
"Celebrated poet Ayers reveals the true-life story of Red Riding Hood, recounting with tenderness--and a new erotic candor--both the anguish and hidden pleasures of straying from the well-worn path. Epic in scope but delivered with striking intimacy, the poems move us from the innocence of girlhood through the pulchritude of adolescence, the mendacities of marriage, the transgression of infidelity, to the complexities of adulthood. With whom will Red tango in the dark of the woods: the strapping Huntsman or the artful Wolf? The answer is transcendent."
--Jeff Gomez, CEO Starlight Runner Entertainment
"Not since Edward Dorn's Gunslinger have I found a poetic persona with this range, depth, insight, and humor. Ayers' collection reminds me of Leonard Cohen's songs: while they are often narrative, they never lost their essential connection with melody. These very human poems are built of angelic music, and ask serious questions of the world."
--James Bertolino, author of Ravenous Bliss
"Sharp, vivid poems allow a modern Red Riding Hood, an artistic wolf, and characters like Baba Yaga to spring to life. A meditation on the choices a woman makes in her life, in her relationships, and in her art, this book maps the journey through the trials, wonders, and frustrations of a love affair."
--Jeannine Hall Gailey, author of Field Guide to the End of the World
The poem "The First Story" won 3rd place in the 2010 Rhysling Awards for Best Long Poetry.
"Ayers' "The First Story" is likewise impressive, but on an entirely visceral level through the evocation of women's lives and transformation using the darkest of fairy tale tropes."
--Deborah J. Brannon, Stone Telling
Night Rain Press, 9780997083477, 240pp.
Publication Date: September 23, 2017