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How Gross, My Séances

How Gross, My Séances

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How Gross, My Séances

Jordan Chesnut

with illustrations by Aidan Koch



How does the experience of loss alter the ways that we love? How Gross My Séances is a theatre of the imagination, and it takes place in "a world of wounds", a body of grief. The characters are precariously intertwined—memories are animate tattoos (flash sheet included), a chorus of crumbling statues consult and console, and a talk show host interviews our moody antagonist. This is a psycho-drama that interrogates subjectivity, grief and its embodiments, discourse around dispossessed persons, responsibility within and outside romantic love, and the efficacy of language itself.


Tragedy, Verse, Necropastoral

Cast: 3M, 4W, ~10A

Cover art by Lauren Roche



Jordan Chesnut's How Gross, My Séances is a true Necropastoral: nocturnally green and vividly black, tenderly adorned with word play, tattoos, and dance moves, lit up with avatars, frogs, and celebrity appearances, and galactically moiréd with both classical and contemporary trappings of absurdity and grief. An inventive paean for a collapsing world that can't quite reach the end of its catastrophe.

—Joyelle McSweeney


Just as even fixed ink can generate fluent tributaries, Jordan Chesnut's play in verse, How Gross, My Séances compels us to map our inner labyrinths as it navigates an underworld system of winding canals and sudden switchbacks through a seething murk of febrile decay, its own sorrow fruiting some luminescent hallucinogen like a guide lamp hung from the ferry's prow and leading us ever deeper into the shadow, ever closer to the fountainhead of a vital new mythology.

—Ken White


How Gross, My Séances abstracts and ruminates on loss, popular culture, literature, familial relations, and converts them to the philosophical and metaphysical realm—invariably connecting spirituality to devoutness and doubt to bewilderment. Throughout, this collection constructs an authorial speaker who endeavors to address the inevitable society-based traumas that affect grieving. I admire the poignant discursive descriptions and cumulative interrogation, which are stunning examples of Chesnut's ability to craft dramatic tension.

—Prageeta Sharma


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