Like the fabled song on Metallica’s sophomore album, Erin Castaldi’s latest haiku book, Fade to Black, is a poignant piece of art. The way that Castaldi juxtaposes mental illness and nature is like blending chaotic electric guitar riffs with melodic acoustic chords. It takes true artistry to marry two unlike things and make them work in harmony together. Castaldi is able to do this with an ample use of natural association that works best in moments when she reflects on struggles such as a battle against addiction, “the sharp prick / of dying swamp grass / tying off.” What’s more poetic than looking at a swamp and feeling it? By observing nature and expressing that observation as an internalized moment of darkness, Castaldi accomplishes what many artists attempt but don’t often achieve – that all too elusive hyper-connection to the reader. That phenomenon of instant recognition. The “a-ha!” haiku moment poets strive toward. Beware however, that there are no happy endings here, just the “epic silence” we all ultimately fear.
-Sean Lynch, Editor, Nick Virgilio Writers House
In Fade to Black,Author Erin Castaldi offers readers a masterful and courageous, introspective haiku collection that leads us to ponder dark periods of our lives. Her poetry exemplifies precise images of the natural world, spare language, and grace of movement. She simply captivates us with her understated, yet stunning, austere moments.
Charlotte Digregorio, Author
Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All