Dialogue With The Dead

Badra’s chapbook, Dialogue with the Dead, was published in 2015 through Finishing Line Press.

Dialogue with the Dead is a collection of poems formed from Danielle Badra’s responses to the recovered poems of her deceased sister. Badra’s courage in literally taking on loss and memory rings true in each precise word in each of these elegiac responses. But Badra is not content to merely grieve or memorialize—‘I’m beautiful and dangerous,’ she writes. These are poems that want to actually live, not just survive.–Tarfia Faizullah

In losing her sister, Badra writes, she loses “suddenly/an entire universe.” Her response is to split the seam between the land of the living and the land of the dead, to demarcate an outpost where she and her sister can talk/sing to each other over the divide. “I was always a sidekick,” she writes, “around every corner,/following my older sister:/corners not meant to be crossed/corners not meant to be seen,” and yes, in each and every poem, Badra crosses and sees, transgressing the border in order to remain in communion with her sister. That crossing is as harrowing as love. In these uncanny poems, Badra has fashioned a form that defies death. The poems’ defiance is not raucous but quiet, like sisters whispering to each other in the dark. This collection manages to be deeply human and devotional, intimate and cosmic. Badra’s dialogue reminds me that poetry at its best is not an invention of the ego but of the spirit.–Diane Seuss