Full of rebellion, desire, and viciousness, Jessica Halsey’s Lupercalia guides readers through the ruins of stories when they smash against reality. The city is born, slippery and feral, and then it grows, collects and rejects a multitude of denizens that break and reshape the boundaries of mythology and genius loci, the spirit of the place/city. An inventory of ghosts, explorations of grief and loss, the effects of oppression on a body existing in a landscape of hostility; Lupercalia contains snapshots of surreal realities, these speculative and fantastical poems represent the search for identity and purpose in a world that challenges the endurance of the human spirit. From the fall of Icarus to the loneliness of an abandoned doll, these poems represent how every hero and trial is a reflection of our lives today. When is a mythological body not a myth? There are no mermaids in National Geographic documentaries, we do not have holy relics of Odysseus or the longitude and latitude of Skylla’s cave. However, the stories of trial and triumph are mirrors that reflect our collective human attempts at living. Living as verb, living as the adventure that is worth experiencing. The heroes and villains of mythology are our bodies, our stories. This collection explores the capacity of a poem’s body to endure love and pain in equal measures. These poems use the power of lyric, poetical and prosaic, to demonstrate the capacity for love to survive within memories of sorrow.