Dark Dance Reviews

alcohol sobriety in which she uses her own experiences and background in psychology to break down various topics of interest to the sober and sober-curious. Each chapter of The Dark Dance is tied to a related post on SomeLikeItSober.com for readers to explore. 

While reading, you can also listen to a Spotify playlist curated to match the tone and flow of the collection: bit.ly/darkdanceplaylist

Full reviews and additional praise:

“Grounded in the implacable physicality of the mind, The Dark Dance winds its way through the catacombs of alcohol and sexual addiction into the clear air of limitless living over sixty-five diverse verses. A progression of bones and body voids is woven into these works, licking, dripping, and slipping into the cracks between spasms of the past and the sober reflection of the present. While it gestures towards a personal spirituality, aimed at uniting the dual self through discipline and understanding, this is ultimately a story that lingers in the physical dimension – one that the frontal lobe tells its brainstem in the twilight. A must-read for anybody who has lifted a glass to life; their first, their last, or both.”

—Keith David ParsonsBoard Member, DC Poetry Collective

The Dark Dance is a stunning portrait of the human experience of growth, shame, and personal liberation. Gittings writes with a hauntingly beautiful rhythm and sound that envelops your senses, leaving you rattled, ringing, and rising alongside her words. This book is a symphonic experience that feels both sacred and sacrilege, electric and chilling – its honest vulnerability speaks to the deepest parts of her readers. With the cadence of the morning, and the authenticity of an old friend, The Dark Dance connects to the darkness and light in us all.”

—Alyson Moore

The Dark Dance unsettles, not unlike Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, or Goya’s Los Caprichos, revealing the animus that torments until confronted and reconciled. The power of the personal muscles throughout Gittings’ verse in an organic palette that is sensual and raw. Emotions submit, moods indict through a collection that taunts and convulses, in images that both sear and sing.”

—Prosser Stirling, Member, DC Poetry Collective

The Dark Dance is a different and urgently needed poetic journal on the theme of alcohol. We live in praise of drunkenness, and have a long history of doing so. Ancient poets even extolled it, as from Apollinaire in “Vendémiaire” – “Hear my songs of universal drunkenness”. But alcoholism has its price. I can think of nothing that has ruined more lives of friends and family, nor can anyone else, really. It has turned me into a teetotaler, as the world around me vomits on the sidewalks or beats spouses and children. Poet Dana Gittings has masterfully crafted an emotional collection dealing with the highs and lows of abuse and addiction, exploring their complex effects on a woman’s sexuality and psyche in well-crafted poems – neither preaching nor condemning, but finding hope and resurrection after years of conflict. A most important offering by this young and gifted poet.”

—Mark Fishbein, Chancellor, Poetry Academy of Poetry Global Network

The Dark Dance offers the reader a confessional exploration into the depths of self-discovery. Exquisite language and reoccurring imagery of light and dark, fire, the moon, death, and witchcraft lead the reader through Gittings’ poems as they plunder themes of addiction, intimacy, sexuality, and self-fragmentation and arrive at a greater understanding and integration of self and the human spirit. She exposes a vulnerability seen in the best writers allowing the reader to enter her poems, feast on their words, and perhaps examine – or, at least, reflect on – our own complex and restless wounds. The poems beautifully progress from pain, difficulty, and self-depreciation to self-discovery, acceptance, and even self-love… an honest celebration of humanity.”

—Elizabeth Black, Board Member, DC Poetry Collective

“In this collection, Gittings lays out, poem after poem, a vulnerability that sits with you long after you have closed the book. Sometimes baring unquenchable thirsts, sometimes bearing the weight of their truths, these poems punch you in the gut with their honesty. At times, they are dark. At times, they are difficult. Decidedly, they are raw and visceral and open. That openness propels the book forward, as the poems explore a rebirth from self-destruction. This rebirth grows into a new, fuller, stronger identity, one that has learned from the past, and can now connect to others, intimately and truly. The language of these poems paints vividly, telling their tales, singing their songs. You, too, will swarm “with every buzzing bee / into the valley of vice and men.” The lyrical energy pulses page after page, and whether you read one or two poems at a go, or absorb the whole book in a single sitting, you will, as one poem puts it, participate in the “creation of joy.” So please, as the music turns up, don’t refuse an invitation to this, The Dark Dance.”