Tedesco’s Poetry Collection Haunts


“FOREVERHAUS” book cover photo courtesy of Kailey Tadesco

Not only is Kailey Tedesco an adjunct professor at Moravian College teaching four classes in the English department (including the popular ENGL 104: The Examination of the Literary Witch course), she is also a senior editor for Luna Luna Magazine, and a published author with three full-length collections of poetry under her belt. 

When Tedesco isn’t lecturing, reading course materials, or meeting with students, she’s trance writing haunting poetry at home with her dog, Barnabas, by her side, which is precisely how her most recent collection, “FOREVERHAUS,” was born. 

“FOREVERHAUS,” a poetry collection published this past September, takes the reader on a soul-stirring and timeless trip through a haus that is both spiritual and very real — I was unsure if I had been reading the poems for minutes or for months. The book itself, and the haus, exist in a separate and secret realm that one can picture with a certain foggy nostalgia, and each poem is a door to somewhere new. 

It is akin to the fleeting places in tales like “The Shining” and “Coraline,” where images only exist for a moment but linger with you for days after imagining them. Every scene feels horrifying in a lovable and familiar way. 

The most intoxicating aspect of this collection is its weight and realness. In each poem, Tedesco plays with space, format, punctuation, and capitalization,  all of which adds to the illusion that we are hearing the speaker’s words as a stream of consciousness in our own minds. 

This makes every experience feel real within our thoughts with lines like, “you’ll want me pressed in the morning / for my lack of speech, but my eyes are too doll-struck / & so I lift you out of the door, through the hall, & down, / down the stairway I carpeted myself with tiny fists of soot.”* 

Additionally, Tedesco has a way of making the grotesque appear beautiful in a way that forces us to come to terms with the ugly unpleasantries of everyday life: maladies, injuries, bodily fluids, even death. 

These little terrors, things that we are all familiar with but refuse to address, become works of art in this collection: “i rub my eyes red and gushy,” “a cyst on me / bursts blood,” “my caul blooms fungal with turrets,” “opening my nightgown & my bile,” and “my veins oozing with pest.” 

Every creation of Tedesco’s is unapologetic in that they simply exist in all of their petrifying glory without begging to be noticed. It’s remarkable in a way that can only be understood if you enter the haus for yourself.

Tedesco believes that once her poetry is read by someone else, their interpretation of her work is out of her hands in the sense that every interpretation of her writing is valid and true. While this belief is admirable, I found that my understanding of FOREVERHAUS was different from her intentions, but that her intentions were all the more exciting.

* From the poem “minotaur” 

You can find Kailey Tedesco’s work on her website, kaileytedesco.com, and you can purchase your copy of “FOREVERHAUShere

Click here to read our interview with Tedesco.