LOVE DREAM WITH TELEVISION

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LOVE DREAM WITH TELEVISION BY HANNAH ENSOR

“Our fears distort our reality,” writes Hannah Ensor in her first book of poetry—and this phrase begins to sum up Love Dream with Television. In addition to hinting at the pervasive fear of otherness that plagues our present, the poems in this collection wrestle with the scrutiny of bodies, unfair representation, and popular culture’s effect on our thinking, claiming that “we want our poems / to have beloveds / because / beloveds / give us an excuse / to talk about television.” Despite the low–key anxieties present throughout the collection, each poem travels persistently—if not boldly—through its subject: all questioning in some way the human experience in relation to oneself and to one another.

As Love Dream with Television time–travels through the 21st century—pausing to wonder why we should aspire toward the behavior of celebrities, or watch television shows like Friends and America’s Next Top Model—the reader is implicated in the cultural phenomena; but I found that, after having “gone through all the emotions with / them: they were TV emotions: some more than others,” I was comforted by the book’s occasional tenderness, where Ensor cautiously reminds us: “My book loves you [ . . . ] You are a friend.”

Noemi.

— Review by Emma Jones