ROOTS GREW WILD
BY ERICA HOFFMEISTER
In Roots Grew Wild Erica Hoffmeister tells the story of a Midwestern family through the perspective of the eldest daughter. Driving the telling in prose poetry is a crisp and distinct voice that lays bare relationships between mother and daughter, father and daughter, as well as the relationship between sisters. Roots Grew Wild is a quiet revelation of the often-harsh nuances the eldest daughter experiences as she comes of age. Themes of family are voiced through sharp imagery and terminology of botany—painting an enthralling psychological landscape that uncovers the layers of societal and familial relationships explored in Roots Grew Wild. Only by returning time and again to the site of the narrator’s favorite tree as her father chops it down with her in it, do we begin to see the pivotal and retrospective symbolic memory essential to the collection of poetry as a whole.
Erica Hoffmeister holds an MFA in Creative Writing and has both poetry and fiction published in various journals and magazines. Born in Southern California but always living elsewhere, she spends her days teaching, writing, and perpetually missing home -- wherever that feels like at the time.
Without the space (for breath and/or pause) of traditional stanza structure, prose poetry runs the risk of reading breezily; Erica Hoffmeister’s work merits a more deliberate reading though. In Roots Grew Wild, she intertwines arresting and nurturing imagery from the natural world with the dramatic momentum of her coming-of-age narrative. Though you might need to break out the dictionary to look up some of the more obscure botany terminology, the emotional punch and passion of Hoffmeister’s poetry stays with you. “The Middle” was my personal favorite from this chapbook. VIOLETA / GOODREADS
KITW / Kingdoms in the Wild Press
Genre: Poetry / Prose
Paperback: 50 Pages
Published: Feb 4th, 2019