Review by Alan Catlin: How to Play House by Heather Dorn

Heather Dorn, How to Play House, Roadside Press, 2023, 116 pages $15

“Heather Dorn is a real mom with real life issues. She’s more Journal of a Mad Housewife than Kate Middleton, though she’s not a stuck at home mom going crazy with her kids but a PhD in English Literature who teaches at the University in Binghamton. She has real health issues (a pacemaker to cope with heart failure) whose wild days of youth are way, way back in the past and can never be, even remotely, repeated. She (and no doubt most of us) reveled in crazy, bad choices who made total fools of ourselves during them and Dorn recounts them convincingly with wit and humor. Most of all, Dorn has a strong, readily identifiable voice; a mother we’d like to know, voice.

“Drawing a contrast between herself and the aforementioned Kate Middleton, Dorn is the mom with spaghetti-o’s on her blouse, coffee stains too, no doubt, while Kate looks beauty parlor fresh after giving birth. Heather confesses she looked like, well, she just gave birth after all three of her children. As Dorn says, Kate doesn’t give interviews. She doesn’t speak. She’s not a real person. Heather Dorn is most definitely a real person and it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, a real poet.”—Alan Catlin

first published in Misfit Magazine

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