The lives of more than twenty-five actresses lost before their time—from Marilyn Monroe to Brittany Murphy—explored in a haunting, provocative new work by an acclaimed poet and actress.
Amber Tamblyn is both an award-winning film and television actress and an acclaimed poet. As such she is deeply fascinated—and intimately familiar—with the toll exacted from young women whose lives are offered in sacrifice as starlets. The stories of these actresses, both famous and obscure-tragic stories of suicide, murder, obscurity, and other forms of death—inspired this empathic and emotionally charged collection of new poetic work.
Featuring subjects from Marilyn Monroe and Frances Farmer to Dana Plato and Brittany Murphy—and paired with original artwork commissioned for the book by luminaries including David Lynch, Adrian Tomine, Marilyn Manson, and Marcel Dzama—Dark Sparkler is a surprising and provocative collection from a young artist of wide-ranging talent, culminating in an extended, confessional epilogue of astonishing candor and poetic command.
This third book of poems from actress Tamblyn (Bang Ditto) could be a large-scale media event, but it's also a good read. Prominent since her teens in film and especially TV, Tamblyn has long been serious about poetry. Here her poetic avocation takes on the perils of her primary career: the actress has created an energetic and formally varied collection focused on ill-fated starlets, dead actresses, and child stars. Some lines misfire, or sound garish, but many hit their mark. Though Tamblyn covers the obvious (Lupe Velez, Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Dana Plato), she makes room for lesser-known figures, such as Laurel Gene, "an innocent with apple juice eyes and a/ brain full of famished birds," and Bollywood star Taruni Sachdev, who was killed in a plane crash at 14. Verse and prose sections at the back of the volume include fictional emails that describe the construction of the book and include first-person verse meditations on an audition; David Lynch, Marilyn Manson, and other well-known figures contribute original illustrations. Reviewers may compare Tamblyn to James Franco, who also wrote poems about his own celebrity, but the two cases aren't really alike: Tamblyn's work seems less slick, and it's more playful and far more personal, with highs and lows that stick around after the cameras are off.
Wanted to say thank you for such a different read… Loved it! Yes it was dark, but also very thoughtful… And what's wrong with dark sometimes anyway? Would love to see a part 2, hint hint…
Something spectacular about it
Maybe it's the way Tamblyn puts words together, or maybe it's just the fact that I can feel her utter devotion to uncovering the darkness that is the concept of this book, but I couldn't put it down. I read it in less than three hours and I'll probably read it a hundred more times.
I think the topic is just fascinating. Poetry is such a fluid genre and I think she captures it perfectly. I had never read anything by her, although I have read practically all of Derrick Brown's work, so I figured (since they tour together) that it must be along the same lines.
I was wrong though. Amber stands alone completely and makes her own, metaphor-riddled path - and I love her for it. This book is such a delightful insight into the mind of a female poet. What an inspiration.
If you need a great read to help stimulate your thoughts and ideals, choose Dark Sparkler. It's probably the only book I'll need for a while.