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The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems
Date of Review: 
Lucas Jacob
Studio: The OnLine Literary Journal

The writer we know by the name Edgar Allan Poe famously refers again and again to a central fear of being buried alive. Ned Balbo—who shares with Poe some vital bits of biography, most importantly having been taken in at a young age and raised by parents not his own—has in the Donald Justice Prize-winning collection The Trials of Edgar Poe and Other Poems rechristened the father of American gothic literature with his birth name, and has tethered the poems in this appropriately haunting collection to a different end-of-life fear: that of being buried unclaimed....Balbo’s precise, efficient images never stray far from the loss and fear of loss that haunt the book like images of premature burial haunt the works of Poe.