Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel

Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel was published by Blood Pudding Press in August of 2011.

Blood Pudding editor Juliet Cook describes the chapbook as “14 darkly delicious poems, inspired by an artsy haunted hotel of sexy horror!”

Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel

“Over the year and a half that followed my first visit to the hotel, I spent more and more time there, culminating in a decadent creative summer/fall in 2006 when I was driving out to Windber every weekend. I think that season was when I realized that I was starting to write the poems that would eventually become Letters From Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel. In fact, the title poem was written at my second Kerouac Fest in room 27 with a Smith Corona typewriter named Stuart and a bottle of ice wine. It took the following five years to finally become complete.”
Hauntings and Visions: An Interview with Margaret Bashaar by Dana Guthrie Martin (Menacing Hedge, Winter 2011/12)

“Margaret Bashaar’s second chapbook, Letters From Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel,is an unforgettable ride through a landscape that has frozen in time one particular summer, seen through the eyes of two young women, Mary and Claire, and the man or men who inhabited this space with them at a time when their lives were altered. … It’s Bashaar’s intensely original, erotic lyricism that reanimates the denizens of this haunted summer and makes us care about them.”
Review of Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel by Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom (Melusine, The Blog, 1/22/2012)

“At first glance Margaret Bashaar’s poetry might seem like the self-obsessed angst that bleeds from the misunderstood hearts of so many twenty-something writers. There’s a lot of imagery pertaining to a need to be heard, a mouth full of needles, a mouth full of seeds – the typical unconscious yearnings of the poet. But read on, read further, and you realize there are messages here, secrets to prize from a stubborn clam “when she is soggy and her mouth is caving in.” Not only this, but the writing is good. It’s better than good, it’s gritty, it’s clever and it’s exhilarating at times.”
Review of Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel by Rachel Kendall (ISMs Press blog, 4/3/2012)

“Bashaar raises many questions: How can one experience such beauty only to attempt to destroy it? How do we, as humans, ward off such destruction? How do we absorb the violence of living, the violence of relationships?”
Review of Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel by Susan Yount (Arsenic Lobster Poetry Journal, Winter 2011)

“What fascinates me about this collection and why you should pick it up are two things. There is the voice and writing of Margaret riding that razor line describing the world in three parts: the way we want it, the way it really is, and then what the omniscient say it is. But then there is the concept of the book itself.  It is built like a haunted room of an old hotel.”
Review of Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel by Chris Bowen (Burning River blog, 12/6/2011)

“Up close, the poems focus on a young woman named Claire, recounting her dark sexual experiences one summer at the haunted Grand Midway Hotel in Pennsylvania. There is the demon hunter who slaps her ass and lies with her in the cemetery; the Proprietor who “tied her to his body to make her / into a sacrifice for the Monkey God”; and what seems like countless other “hands on hands on waists and waists / pressed to one another,” but the narrative becomes intentionally blurry when distinguishing between lovers.”
Review of Letters from Room 27 of the Grand Midway Hotel by Lisa McCool-Grime (A cappella Zoo blog, 4/11/2012)

Poems from Letters from Room 27 appeared in New South, Thirteen Myna Birds, Pear Noir!, Natural Language, and Barge Journal before they found their way together as a chapbook.

You can visit the website of the real Grand Midway Hotel here!


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