Our Wolves by Luanne Castle

source: review copy courtesy of Poetic Book Tours
title: Our Wolves
author: Luanne Castle (Twitter)
genre: poetry/nonfiction
published: 2023
pages: 37
first line: Inside the cabin it’s woodsy and warm near the woodstove.

In Our Wolves, poet Luanne Castle navigates the timeless story of “Little Red Riding Hood” in a compelling collection of sharp, memorable poetry. Familiar tales are ageless for a reason. Their magic is that they can easily be transformed to explore subjects of abuse, danger, sexuality, self-sufficiency, and interpersonal relationships in a way that makes these challenging topics palatable to readers. Trying to find the reasoning behind Red’s traumatic adventure, as well as using it to comment on contemporary events, Castle creates taut narratives and sympathetic monologues to show how the story shapeshifts with the teller. Here, we hear from the wolf, the huntsman/woodcutter, Grandmother, townspeople, and Red herself. Not just a victimized or innocent child, Castle’s Red also appears in wiser (and sometimes older) incarnations that are knowing, rebellious, resilient, and clever. This technique subverts stereotypical conventions and shows that Red’s story “is not so very different from yours / and yours and yours and yours and yours.” Filled with atmospheric power, dynamic portrayals, and bright imagery, Our Wolves will haunt you long after you’ve returned from its woods. -Christine Butterworth-McDermott, author of The Spellbook of Fruit & Flowers

my thoughts:

I love reading poetry and when I heard about Our Wolves by Luanne Castle it sounded like an interesting collection to enjoy. These poems tell the story of Little Red Riding hood and the characters from the children’s fairy tale. The story told through this set is a coming-of-age story for Red and the lessons she learns in life.

“Fools need classes. So do the so-called smart
girls who answer long equations on the board.
How do they know not to trust their hearts
if they aren’t warned by books and teachers?”- from School for Girls Who Shouldn’t Trust

I enjoyed reading Our Wolves very much. As usual when reading poetry, I read the poems twice and out loud to get a feel for them. I recommend this collection, I especially like the imagery Luanne Castle creates and I could easily envision Red, the wolf and her grandmother as I read. I also like that Red Riding Hood is portrayed as a strong female lead here, the quote below was my favorite.

“What is a wolf if not
the hungry wildness in the heart?
That feeling inborn to the girl, visceral and unexplored.”- Human Origin

Special thanks to Poetic Book Tours and Luanne Castle for making this possible! Click here for the rest of the tour stops.

Blog Tour Schedule:

March 7: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (review)

March 9: the bookworm (review)

March 13: Books Parlour (review)

March 16: Anthony Avina’s blog (review)

March 20: True Book Addict (review)

March 23: A Bookish Way of Life (review)

April 14: Impressions in Ink (review)

About the Author:
Luanne Castle lives in Arizona, next to a wash that wildlife use as a thoroughfare. She has published two full-length poetry collections, Rooted and Winged (Finishing Line Press 2022) and Doll God (Aldrich/Kelsay 2015), which won the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award for Poetry. Kin Types (Finishing Line Press 2017), a chapbook of poetry and flash nonfiction, was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award. Our Wolves (Alien Buddha Press 2023) is her second chapbook. Luanne’s Pushcart and Best of the Net-nominated poetry and prose have appeared in Copper Nickel, American Journal of Poetry, Pleiades, River Teeth, TAB, Verse Daily, Saranac Review, and other journals.

Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My copy of Our Wolves by Luanne Castle came via Poetic Book tours.

19 thoughts on “Our Wolves by Luanne Castle

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