Book Review: A Review of Indictus by Natalie Eilbert

(Noemi Press, January 2018)

ISBN-10: 1934819719

ISBN-13: 978-1934819715

Reviewed by Amanda Galvan Huynh

For the past week, I have carried Natalie Eilbert’s second collection of poetry with me both physically and emotionally. Indictus, Winner of the 2016 Noemi Press Poetry Award, is a book I could not read in one sitting. It still lingers in my mind as Eilbert calls for a reader’s full attention to the said and the unsaid; to reflect on its echoes of the present.

Majority of the poems in Indictus take the shape of free verse, narrative, prose, and sequences which allows for disjointed images bolster the faulty reliance on memory; the way memory can deceive, rearrange, and rewrite a new truth or one it would prefer to believe. Eilbert crafts dynamic poems that hold an unyielding truth to the aftermath of sexual assault, trauma and what it means to survive.

The collection’s opening poem “To Read Poems Is to Follow Another Line to the Afterlife. To Write Them Is to Wed Life with Afterlife.” sets an unapologetic and chaotic tone as the rest of the book revolves around the central idea of memory: the real, the unreal, the gaps, and the imagined. Eilbert’s first poem grounds the reader in the etymology of the collection’s title:


“INDICT, in its earliest use, exclusively meant to bring lawful charges against-but something marginalized groups know a lot about…language shifted to accommodate the reality of the court…It was left to the imagination of the survivor to alternate the course of events. At this same point, poetry meant a fable or tale in verse.

INDICTUS points to the unsaid.

In this way, to indict is to write the unsaid.”

from “To Read Poems Is to Follow Another Line to the Afterlife. To Write Them Is to Wed Life with Afterlife.”

It does not take a reader long to realize and admire Eilbert’s keen eye for language as the play of and on language frequents these pages. This decision also focuses on the power of language, an awareness of who gets access to it, and a reclamation of it to use as resistance, to use against oppressors. A quiet rage moves over and under the layers of these sharp and dense poems. Eilbert reclaims language by the attention given to words, their sounds, their order, and their mishearing:

“I thought and I thought and I thought, but could never property

express my shelves. I gendered myself until little holes trepanned outward.

I’m a bad denim vest. I’m a bad feminine land. I art my way

out of my pants and my importance is mistaken.”

from “Man Hole”

She creates a duality which asks a reader to reevaluate and rehear what is given; to distrust and trust at the same time. This choice in style parallels the reality of doubting one’s self post-trauma; holds the truth that trauma sits firmly in the present and can haunt an individual. Hoes does one write about the reverberations of their hurt? Begin to heal? Eilbert leaves these questions open, understands that every survivor’s story and pain is unique.

While beautifully written this collection calls for an in-depth reading as the surreal images at times can be disorienting and may require rereading. However, this necessary book is worth the extra time and meditation.

To write that Eilbert’s collection is brave would be a disservice as these poems are a strength for all bodies surviving in our current and turbulent times. Eilbert’s words give us space to reflect on our pain, others’ pain, the ones who come forward and the ones who cannot. With the rise of sexual assault accusations being taken seriously a new (and long past due) era unfolds for the future of women and femmes. One crucial voice rising in solidarity takes the form of this heroic book.

Posted in Poetry, The Reveiw | Leave a comment

Well, what do you know…

The Library of Congress has granted Four Ties Lit Review an International Standard Serial Number, an ISSN, the serial equivalent of the ISBN.  So what, right? So first, the Library of Congress knows who we are. That’s pretty cool, but it also registers 4Ties with a list of national and international organizations making it easier for folks everywhere to find 4Ties.

Not to mention that using an ISSN will lead to more protections for the intellectual property of 4Ties authors and editors and that’s why we took the time to secure an ISSN for 4Ties; Look for our ISSN on the cover of issues and the 4Ties Masthead (coming soon-ish).

Posted in News and Notes, The Reveiw | 2 Comments

4Ties’ Authors and Artists News and Notes

4Ties Issue 3 Volume 1 contributor, and managing Poetry Editor at Driftwood Press, Jerrod Schwartz, let 4Ties know that Driftwood Press is venturing boldly into print publication with their Adrift Poetry Chapbook Series. Good luck to them and all those who enter the new contest!



Posted in News and Notes, The Reveiw | Leave a comment

Are You Going to AWP?

Most years the Conference for Writers and Writing Programs marks the unofficial launch of the new season for 4Ties and this year will be no different. Many of 4Ties editors, contributors, and readers will be at the conference in Tampa Bay on March 7th through the 10th. We’d like to post News and Notes from the Conference this year on the 4Ties Blog. If you are planning to attend AWP and would like to contribute to our blog posts drop us a line ahead of time at and let us know what you’re excited about.

See you there

Posted in The Reveiw | Leave a comment

Who knew eMail could be so exciting

We just eMialed THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS with an application for an ISSN (no not an ISBN)! Oh, the places we will go…

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Wish us luck!

We’ve just applied for The Whiting Foundation Literary Magazine Prize!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Issue VI Issue I PDF format

The Pdf format of Issue VI Volume I is now available; you may open and save the file from the link below.

Four Ties Lit Review Issue VI Volume I pdf

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Issue VI Volume I Letter from the Editor

Greetings Readers,
Thank you once again for supporting a vision of literature that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. In our sixth year of publishing Four Ties Lit Review, the idea of having a central idea around which the magazine is organized has finally taken hold. While not all submissions were strictly “work” related, neither were all of the pieces we chose to publish. However, we do feel the issue has come together in a way previous issues of 4Ties did not.

Part of the coherence of this issue might be due to the response to our call for submissions. We were excited to see the sharp increase in submissions. We processed nearly six hundred individual submissions; two hundred and seventy-three of those contained over a thousand poems, two hundred fiction submissions, sixty-seven non-fiction submissions, and over two-hundred pieces of graphic art.

We are ecstatic with this issue’s results; Fiction that’ll make you laugh, Nonfiction that will surprise you, Poetry, and Graphic Art that will have your spirit soaring. Our contributors’ visions are inspiring. We can’t wait to have for you to read the issue.

This year we announced an open call for submissions of “Graphical Story Telling (visual narrative).” Unfortunately, the response was underwhelming. For the first time, we felt the quality of the submissions in the genre were below the magazine’s standards. However, we are still excited about this growing genre and will continue to search for quality visual storytelling in the future.

The challenges and rewards of bringing 4Ties to publication, combined with the fact that we can bring new and favorite Authors and Artist, to our audience, are what makes it so satisfying to do work on 4Ties. With this issue, we feel that publication has turned a corner and gained critical support. With the added interest comes opportunity, which may equate to additional work. In the coming year while we will continue to grow the publication we will also turn to our audience and community for support. The needs of this growing and vibrant publication have outgrown the current resources available to us. Stay tuned for ways you can help.

We thank you for supporting Four Ties Lit Review now and in the future.

Matthew W Larrimore

Posted in The Reveiw | Leave a comment

The Artists and Authors Speak Update

All of our “The Artists and Authors Speak” featured posts are now a permanent part of Issue VI Volume I online content so our reads can easily access that content while Issue VI Volume I is on display… The Authors and Artist Speak

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Artists and Author’s Speak Part VII

Despite our best efforts sometimes life comes crashing in… we apologize for the lateness of this update.

Our Non-Fiction Author Ian Rogers provided us with an illuminating and instructive recording to accompany his wonderful narrative that captures the essence of both friendship and work “Painting’s Just My Day Job”

Thank you Ian and all the Authors and Artists from whom we have heard.

Posted in Authors, The Reveiw | Leave a comment