by Rheanna Haaland
Catching Narcissus is a collection of poems which form a smooth, yet unsettling, reflection of the critical loathing and lustfully egotistical self. Through the intermittent lens of mythology and too-real modern life lessons, it is a story shaped by the caveat: “this is going to hurt.” From its old-flame trick-candle arsonist love story to the hydrocodone overdose, Haaland examines—and attempts to reconcile—recovery from crippling addiction and the endlessly resurrected, unwelcome love it both nurtures and asphyxiates.
About the Author
Rheanna Haaland (she/her/they/them) could say this book is about you. But it isn’t.
Haaland was raised by wolves on the prairie but relocated to Minneapolis, after finishing a bachelor’s degree in writing. Unsatisfied with writing alone, they considered several additional lines of work to compliment the necessary exorcism of poetry (including but not confined to copy editor, bookseller, web series producer, script writer, prep cook, pizza transportation specialist and actual batman). Haaland settled finally on pursuing a career as a surgeon.
While currently attending Northwestern Health Science University Haaland also works as a medical scribe in a local emergency room. (Countless HIPPA-compliant stories about will almost certainly prompt future collections. She loves it.) She will remain in school for the foreseeable future, while continuing to write.
Haaland was the 3rd place winner of the 2018 Erotica Grand SlaMN Championship for spoken word poetry. Their work has appeared most recently in Auk Contraire, and The Same. The poem “—Me, Everyday” was previously printed in the 2019 edition of Red Weather Magazine, alongside many of her other pieces not published in this book. Haaland’s first collection An Eyeful of Hennepin Neon (The Poetry Box, 2018) is available through The Poetry Box website. She lives in Minneapolis with her outspoken tabby cat, Brummell, whose input on molecular geometry and organic chemistry homework is less than helpful. Both of them thank you for reading this far.
Early Praise for Catching Narcissus:
Rheanna Haaland’s book, Catching Narcissus, interweaves themes of classical mythology with stark overtones of mental torture and struggle. Themes of obsession, heartbreak, narcissistic abuse and recovery are all present in this wonderfully executed work, reflecting the authentic reality of human emotion when faced with the unnatural reality of loving a Narcissus. Absolutely worth a read for anyone who has struggled with love, loss, abandonment, or narcissistic abuse. Haaland’s words cut to the core of the human experience.
—Liz Collin (Red Eye Ruby)
R. S. Haaland takes you behind the eyes of a character tortured by addiction, obsession, and the allure of the darker things in life. Catching Narcissus is a sympathetic story with an undertone that is both unsettling and genuine.
—BIGnick, Kaleidoscope Nights
From broken to passing, Catching Narcissus begins fragmented and broken and ends with an idea of composure that invokes hope for a future. Haaland climbs out of a hole, carrying all the baggage that came out, and finds a way to survive. Mechanically thoughtful and brutally honest, Catching Narcissus doesn’t pull punches, even when those punches are directed inward.
—Tim Nunes, Senior Editor at PlayStation Universe