Kailey Tedesco is the author of She Used to be on a Milk Carton (April Gloaming Publishing) and These Ghosts of Mine, Siamese (Dancing Girl Press). She is the co-founder of Rag Queen Periodical and an associate editor for Luna Luna Magazine. Currently, she teaches literature and writing in Bethlehem, PA and co-curates Philly's A Witch's Craft reading series. You can find her work featured in Electric Literature, Prelude, fields, Bone Bouquet Journal, Fairy Tale Review, Grimoire, Phoebe Journal, and others. For more information, please visit kaileytedesco.com or follow @kaileytedesco. 


"Kailey Tedesco is a poet compelled by resonance. The poems within Lizzie, Speak, read with the cadence of spells, each like its own intoxicating cosmos of sound. In “lizzie new age / lizzie new wave” you feel yourself tripping down the haunted ghost path of language, stumbling towards something deadly yet tantalizing much like the collection’s titular assumed murderer muse, Lizzie Borden—'goat-milk butters my dialect / heartfelt i am lounging on plum-sward / & these waves thieve / my shoes / something about this ghost has gone…’ Tedesco conjures Borden to speak as if not only to be finally given a chance to tell her story—’Papa denies me a new  / set of pens’—but for all those “dangerous women” of the then and now to finally ‘harvest [their own] ghosts  / from the holes  / that caused them.’ Lizzie, Speak is a book about the authority of language and the ghosts that inhabit it. As Dickinson once said, ‘One need not be a chamber to be haunted’ and as Tedesco proves here, haunting takes many forms."   

-Trista Edwards, associate editor of Luna Luna Magazine

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by Kailey Tedesco

"Kailey Tedesco’s Lizzie, Speak is not merely a collection of poetry, but a conjuring, an invocation, a communion with Lizzie Borden herself. By voices, sometimes distinctly Kailey, sometimes Lizzie, I am guided through this séance of a new confessional until, ultimately, the line between the two becomes vague, itself a ghost without time or presence, “to speak / the language of saints, protected.” From the very beginning, I can feel my fingers on the planchette as these poems reveal –– letter by word by line –– a spirit, a history, an identity. Lizzie speaks through Tedesco, who has given us a beautiful portrait that is not only haunting and ethereal, but also temporal, intimate, and true."

-Angelo Colavita, author of Flowersonnets

"This collection has a set of teeth that gnaw through to the bone and gut of what it means to be a woman." -Jen Hudgens petrichor

"This book is an instrument. It exists as a spirit board through which the dead speak. It feels dangerous. Not because communing with the dead is dangerous but because of what the dead may have to say, and Kailey Tedesco is the medium through which the subject, Lizzie, speaks." -Trista Marie Edwards Marvel+Moon

"Lizzie, Speak is a book about the limits of language and the fraught nature of communication — both between the living and between the living and the dead. The speaker tries to reach the dead in a number of ways: she practices psychometry, consults the Ouija board, and visits the locations Lizzie Borden is associated with — the home in which the murders took place and her final resting place at Oak Grove Cemetery. The speaker mourns — “i am so afraid everyone i love will never be a ghost.” By searching for Lizzie Borden, the speaker tries to counteract the terrifying finality of death." -Patricia Grisafi Luna Luna Magazine

​"The poems here are pain-soaked and visceral. The poems weave from first person to third, and it grows more and more difficult to know when our medium is speaking or being spoken through. The veil between worlds begins to lift, our speaker possessed." -Catherine GarbinskyEmpty Mirror

​"A conjuring, an invocation, a communion with Lizzie Borden herself. These poems reveal—letter by word by line—a spirit, a history, an identity. Lizzie speaks through Tedesco." -Juliette Sebock

​"The poems themselves are beautiful in the way that a taxidermied animal is beautiful; captured in motion, slightly misshapen, with unsettling black eyes that seem to follow you from page to page. Dynamic in form, there are some poems that stop and start like a heartbeat; other times, they are long strings of words, like a whispered confession." -Ren MartinezQuail Bell Magazine

Featured in Bad Pony's What We've Been Reading, Watching, Listening To: March 2019