Available from Anvil Press

Glossolalia is an unflinching exploration of sisterhood, motherhood, and sexuality as told in a series of poetic monologues spoken by the thirty-four polygamous wives of Joseph Smith, founder of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In Marita Dachsel’s second full-length collection, the self-avowed agnostic feminist uses mid-nineteenth century Mormon America as a microcosm for the universal emotions of love, jealousy, loneliness, pride, despair, and passion.

Glossolalia is an extraordinary, often funny, and deeply human examination of what it means to be a wife and a woman through the lens of religion and history.


Daybreak Alberta
The Storialist
The Rusty Toque
Coastal Spectator
Russell Books
Jane Day Reader
Malahat Review podcast for Words Thaw
Too True


Emma Hale Smith
Martha McBride Knight
Olive Grey Frost


"Dachsel is extremely comfortable evoking the varied experiences of these women, and what results is a tapestry of sorts that denies any simplistic moral judgment."

from Jared Bland in The Globe and Mail

"Glossolalia is speaking in tongues, related to religious fervour. I can see how this word works as title for this book: the zealous nature of the women’s involvement and the sound of 34 women, each speaking her own personal ‘language’ and plurally all speaking at once creating a psychological babble that went unheard in its time. Dachsel’s poems let us hear them speak. Stoic and pious like the women themselves, these poems are about small moments lived in extraordinary times."
from Lori Cayer in The Winnipeg Review

"This book is a jewel-like union of unique voices. Together they create a stunning stained glass piece soldered together into a choir of glass and light."
from Nina Berkhout at Canadian Poetries

"Dachsel fuses such personality and vibrancy into her poetic monologues that I felt as though I understood each woman and had received a vivid snapshot of a particular time in their life."
Michaela Pontellini in Vancouver Weekly

"I loved the creative impulse behind this collection, and the idea was brought to reality with great effectiveness. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this, and will be going back to reread many parts of it again. I like clever concepts melded with a facility for language and imagery, and this collection delivered. Recommended to anyone interested in modern poetry and/or women's lives remained."
from The Indextrious Reader

"Okay, you know when good art makes you uncomfortable in that deliciously squirmy way?...Dachsel’s mastery over multiple voices really elevates this collection to something special."
from book riot

"Glossolalia is simply riveting, it is hauntingly sad…If I had a rating system this book would get all my stars."
from Michael Dennis

"Dachsel’s wives are less a chorus than a cacophony, a crowd of dissonant voices, each shouting to be heard above the others.

But hear them, we do. The wives each emerge as distinct, aware, embodied, and it is the smallness and closeness of poetry (as well as their poet’s talent) that brings them so to life."
from Kerry Clare at Pickle Me This

"I admired Dachsel’s meticulous research and commitment to this project, and loved both the humour and the sadness."
from Alexis Kienlen in Daily Herald Tribune

"What Shines: The fact that Dachsel created a whole text from her absorption in the lives of Joseph Smith’s wives and the historical complexities of polygamy. Taking that kind of risk I think is important, even if a wholly successful result is usually elusive. The shifting texture of language between the insertions of the Doctrine and Covenants with their Biblical imperatives and lexicon of 'abide and cleave' is potent set alongside the looser, more realistically truthful rhythmic patter of many of the wives such as Hannah Ellis with her drone of 'I live a boring life in a boring house/with my boring boring.'"
from Catherine Owen

"Most poems written out of biographical/historical materials are painstakingly dull, doing little to add to what is already known, but Dachsel manages to bring a life to the material, a fine and sparkling energy, something she brought to her first collection, All Things Said & Done (Caitlin Press, 2007)."
from rob mclennan

"These poems are touching, dark, funny, raw, and leave you stunned in your seat."
from Vanilla Hearts


Glossolalia made Edmonton Journal reviewer's Michael Hingston's list of his Top Ten books of 2013

Bestseller at Pages on Kennsington in Calgary, week of October 13, 2013