True crime poetry is not a sub genre I was aware even existed, let alone one that could be so emotionally affecting, but Cynthia Pelayo ripped my heart out with this collection that examines the grim history of missing women in the Americas.
Each piece is based on a real case and looks at the missing person & the void they leave behind. By excluding the perpetrators (often unknown or unconvicted) the focus remains squarely on the innocent victims and their immediate families. Pelayo also includes the details of the missing person case after each poem, with a contact number for the investigating Police department. These details further accentuate the tragedy of the cases and the lives taken & serve as a sobering reminder that this isn’t fiction, it’s real life.
This collection makes for a very tough read but an important and necessary one. You will (and should) feel despondent and angry about the long and ongoing history of such cases but the work also reads as a tribute to these missing people, honouring them by giving us snippets of their too short lives.
This is a powerful work and Cynthia Pelayo should be commended for doing a deep dive into the dark histories of these missing women and re-telling their story.
5 out of 5