According to Jessica Cuello, author of "Liar": "'Tooth Box' tells of a girlhood familiar to many — a girlhood of strange cruelties and the ever-present threat of violence. Irish writes with a mesmerizing attention to detail and a gift for the startling and uncanny. The girl in these sensuous poems wanders through a dark fairytale-esque world, alert to being taken, cut, punctured and eaten: 'to expect care from no one.' It's one of the few poetry books I've read that accurately captures the tender but brutal relationships between girls. Written with a fluid, dreamlike beauty, it is 'a story built from the sticks and bleached and brittle bones of a truth ... about girls who ... become animals to save themselves.'"
Praise for this book
"In the title poem of this stunning collection, a tooth box is described as a 'fragile capsule for caging time.' The same could be said — could it not? — of a poem, yet these poems and prose pieces are not fragile capsules — they are stones sharpened to points; they are stories that burst open like our spiral galaxy, growing larger and larger with each turn. ... 'Tooth Box' is unflinching, unforgettable."
"What does Jenny Irish’s 'Tooth Box' hold? A rabid girlhood of hybrid understanding, a quiet body yearning to express itself, and a wilderness of adults with mixed intentions. This book is stunning in its ability to move through and across form as a means to best express childhood discovery and trauma. Leaving readers wondering, where is my tooth box? What secret selves does my tooth box hold? Inventive, gut-wrenching, and full of strength, Irish’s work is in a category of its own."