there are stories we tell ourselves. storiesof wicked stepmothers and big bad wolves. stories of mirrors that chatter and enchantedspinning wheels, ready to prick some unlucky princessâ€™s finger. poisoned apples, the best book iâ€™ve readso far this year, offers up an even scarier villain: the voice inside our own head. poisoned apples is poetry, but donâ€™t letthat put you off. thereâ€™s nothing pretentious about this stellar collection, though, asgood poetry should, it does surprise and enlighten. also, thereâ€™s this. poisoned apples maybe poetry, but itâ€™s almost equally social criticism. using fairy tales, fables, andwell-known symbols of the american beauty
myth, author christine heppermann takes aimat a culture that turns little girls into princesses, and grown-up girls into self-hatingvillains. though wicked stepmothers and other traditionalantagonists do make appearances in this collection, the real villainâ€”as i mentionedâ€”is thecritical voice in our own head. the one that tears us to pieces more quickly than a wolfâ€™steeth. heppermann doesnâ€™t offer spells or magicpotions to defeat this smooth-talking enemy. but anyone who reads these smart, timely poemswill certainly identify it and perhaps, feel armed to face it down.