Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Doll God by Luanne Castle

Welcome to the first of the New on the Shelves posts this week and today it is poet Luanne Castle and her debut collection, award winning Doll God that explores the emotion that we invest in inanimate objects, some of which have been created in our own image.

About Doll God

Winner of the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, Doll God, studies traces of the spirit world in human-made and natural objects–a Japanese doll, a Palo Verde tree, a hummingbird. Her exploration leads the reader between the twin poles of nature and creations of the imagination in dolls, myth, and art.

“Every day the world subtracts from itself,” Luanne Castle observes. Her wonderfully titled collection, Doll God, with its rich and varied mix of poems part memoir, part myth and tale, shimmers as it swims as poetry is meant to, upstream against the loss.
Stuart Dybek, MacArthur Fellow and author of Streets in Their Own Ink

What the readers are saying.

It was with some trepidation that I began reading Luanne Castle’s collection of poetry. I usually read history and feared I wouldn’t connect with a modern poet, but I was wrong.

Doll God is a lyrical history of life—or many lives. The stories Castle tells us are at once poignantly personal and profoundly universal. A quiet moment with an estranged husband, wistful memories of summers spent with a childhood friend and the sad history of a man’s descent into vagrancy and invisibility; these stories cut to the core of human feeling and being.

Throughout I felt the poet’s love and compassion for flawed humanity and felt my own heart breaking for people Castle has brought to life in her poetry. Each poem is a glimpse, a ray of light shining on tiny moments of life that often go unexamined.

Luanne Castle’s poetry is so beautifully written I often found myself caught between experiencing life through the poet’s eyes and admiring the wonderful way in which the poems were constructed. Here is a collection of poems to savor more than once! They remind me of how I feel when reading Whitman’s poetry—elevated and in love with humanity no matter how imperfect.

The title “Doll God” instantly made me wonder who or what the “god” is: a doll, a child, a parent, a poet, a deity, nature? Having read this fine collection, I suspect the answer is all of the above and, possibly, more. Author Luanne Castle keeps the title’s tacit promise by including many poems about dolls–pretty dolls or dolls that are devilish or decaying. But she ranges far beyond dolls into electric seconds between humans or between humans and nature. Castle excels at depicting such moments–beauty before rot, peace before violence, instability before who knows what. Rare is the poet who presses so much sensation, thought, feeling, and mystery into such succinct word packets. I give “Doll God” my highest recommendation. Read and enjoy–and read again. Keep unpacking these poems.

Read all the reviews an buy the collection:

About Luanne Castle

Winner in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards, Luanne Castle’s first collection of poetry, Doll God, was published by Aldrich Press in 2015. Luanne’s poetry and prose are forthcoming or have appeared in CopperNickel, Phoebe, Story Shack, the museum of americana, Grist, Crack the Spine, The Antigonish Review, TAB, River Teeth, Lunch Ticket, The Review Review, and many other journals.

She has been a Fellow at the Center for Ideas and Society at the University of California, Riverside, and has studied English and Creative Writing at UCR (PhD), Western Michigan University (MFA), and Stanford University. She divides her time between California and Arizona, where she shares land with a herd of javelina.

Connect to Luanne Castle

Amazon author page:

Thank you for dropping in today and if you are not in the bookstore please check it out. It does enable you to enjoy frequent updates for your work.



This entry was posted in Book Promotion, Poetry and Haiku and tagged , by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

29 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Doll God by Luanne Castle

  1. Wow! Luanne, these are wonderful reviews of your book – touching, incisive and mesmerising in themselves. My attention is well and truly captured and will have a look at this and recommend it to my poet friends. Warmest wishes. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – Doll God by Luanne Castle | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round up – Let’s walk a marathon, Shirley Bassey, Marc Bolan and magical writers | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.