The collection is a quick read, short and to the point. The poems featured are erasure (black out). Like the title suggests, each poem hints at a mystical “her”—a person that each narrator (seemingly the same one) wishes to make appear as if by magic. The words are blocked off and scratched out on everyday shopping receipts. This may hint at a need to posses this “her” figure, although it is more likely just a creative way to reuse something everyday and seemingly unimportant.
As a frequent reader of Emily’s work, this collection is not my favorite. While I appreciated the creativity in making meaning out of the clipped words on shopping receipts, I didn’t always find the words to resonate. Much of it was repetitive, which actually worked in the author’s favor as it gave the poems momentum when read together. Some of the combinations were slightly amusing, others reminiscent of song lyrics. Yet the symbolism and mix of melancholy and optimism found in her previous collection, I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me, seemed to be missing in Conjuring Her.
For fans of Emily’s work, it’s well worth the buy. You can preorder her newest collection here.