Claire Wahmanholm /
September 26, 2018
‘D’ & ‘G’

About The Author

Claire Wahmanholm

Claire Wahmanholm’s poems have most recently appeared in New Poetry from the Midwest 2017, Saltfront, PANK, Bennington Review, The Collapsar, Newfound, Bateau, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere. Her chapbook, Night Vision, won the 2017 New Michigan Press/DIAGRAM chapbook contest. Her debut full-length collection, Wilder, won the 2018 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry and is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions in November 2018. Her second collection is forthcoming from Tinderbox Editions in fall 2019.

To me, reading a fairy tale always feels a little like being bludgeoned. “Hansel and Gretel” is my favorite, partially because there isn’t a marriage plot and because the children do some pretty awful things in order to survive. Its bruising clings, and even though in most versions the children are reunited with their father and become rich beyond measure, we know that fairy tales don’t believe their own endings. The tales end the way they do not because those endings were plausible, but because they were necessary. Beneath the onslaught of famine or war or epidemic or violence, a fairy tale ending was a balm. We think all that awfulness belongs to another era, but of course it doesn’t. Which is why fairy tales continue to be a magnetic, abject bait.