Bring Down the Chandeliers by Tara Hardy

Tara Hardy is a father-daughter incest survivor. In these poems you will find sex and survival turned inside out, offering fresh perspective on what it means to be counted among the wounded. Where we expect to find liability, we find muscle. Where we expect to find numbness, we find thirst.

Bring Down the Chandeliers is an exploration of trauma, body, and faith. It is also an inquiry into forgiveness. As such these poems are not just for sexual assault survivors; they are for anyone who has struggled to forgive oneself and/or one’s trespassers. They are for anyone making a life in the midst of aftermath.

Tara Hardy is, as Dorothy Allison claims, “the real deal. Passionate, brave, gifted, insightful, dead-on in language and craft.” Find yourself strangely hopeful amid her explorations of addiction and justice. Consider your own compass as she navigates body, as she confronts sex as the site of what was both stolen and returned. Find a surprising bit of yourself in a story may not be yours, but in which you’re invited to grapple with your own vulnerabilities and strengths. Walk away with a more intricate understanding of your own humanity.

Praise for Bring Down the Chandeliers

You have a voice that speaks to the most hurt angry part of me in the best way possible—a voice that neither denies the complexity of the grief and injury inherent in the broken life nor dwells in that hurt place. These poems take a deep breath and sing of the remade life, the girl who will not destroy herself, the woman who has found a way to stand proud in her own skin. I want to read this book out loud to those I love. I want to give it to the bent-neck, hesitant, wounded young people I meet all the time. I want to say read this and draw your own breaths in response. —Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard Out of Carolina


Tara Hardy’s kick-ass poetry helps me stay alive. She speaks my life when I’m too afraid to speak it for myself. When I need a dose of courage, I read Tara’s fury as she faces her fears. Please buy this book. I swear she is a life-saver.”—Kate Bornstein, author of Hello, Cruel World


[Tara Hardy can] can dignity from the mouths of underdogs. Her poetry is proof that she keeps a watchful eye on those who have no God or hope to buy into. Her poems are hard at work, constantly seeing and telling, There is no death in her work. Only resurrection. …she risks more than anyone but expects no accolades. Instead she does it to promote the sort of compassion and respect that everyone deserves, not matter where they come from.— Rachel McKibbens, author of Pink Elephant


“Hardy has crafted a collection that highlights how important having a voice is after surviving a tragedy.” Brian Fanelli in Pank


“…relentlessly beautiful and moving.” —reviewer CHB


“poetry that will rip your ears off.” —Evan J. Peterson


Many of [Tara Hardy’s] poems inspired me to write and to appreciate life and not to judge the people around me, and after I put the book down I felt so much more empowered than I had before. —reviewer Emma


…imagine if a book could punch you in the jaw.

Hard. —reviewer Cassidy

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