Golden Record by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell is an opulent poetry chapbook (written in English and Spanish) published by Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club, which makes Golden Record difficult to review normally. Bleeding Cool doesn’t have a poetry critic this reviewer can punt the work over to.
Valero-O’Connell is a Harvey, Ignatz, and Eisner-winning comics artist of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me and Don’t Go Without Me, and the art behind the poems is often sumptuous. Her love poems remain in my memory. The poems are about bodies, pain, and pleasure. They invite the reader into the chapbook.
“You’ll tell me, twice bitten calf, body angled
Against mine so your breathing heats my
heart like bellows, how easily it could have
Some moments are fastened to me como un
muñeco del día de los inocentes, pinned to
The back of my eyelids with a lepidopterist’s
A note on the cover: The holographic elements on the cover harmonize perfectly with the colors. The jpg doesn’t do Golden Record’s cover justice. If you hold a physical copy in your hands, you’ll see.
Golden Record is not The Next Project from Valero-O’Connell. That would be The 12th House, due this year from First Second. My point of comparison for Golden Record is an EP. EPs, by and large, might be for fans only, but fans will likely cherish Golden Record all the same.
A bilingual English/Spanish poetry magazine and autofiction chapbook lusciously written and illustrated by award-winning graphic novelist Rosemary Valero-O’Connell.
It is an amalgamation of words and images brought together to become more than the sum of their parts, exploring the body as the site and host of all pleasure and pain, and, as its name pays homage to, a collection of dispatches from life on earth.
Review by James Hepplewhite
Golden Record by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell is an opulent poetry chapbook (written in English and Spanish) published by Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club.