These poems are excerpted from Jessica Purdy’s work-in-progress entitled The Adorable Knife: Poems on Frances Glessner Lee’s The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death. The Nutshells were exhibited at the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC, from October 2017 through the end of January 2018. Frances Glessner Lee is known as the "mother of forensic science" and became the first female police captain in America. Each of her Nutshells is a meticulously crafted crime scene diorama meant to help police officers hone their skills of observation. Each poem in Purdy’s series is an ekphrastic poem based on a specific Nutshell. In some of the poems, the speaker is the victim, and in some, the perpetrator. In still others, it is the poet’s voice that is heard. Other poems in Purdy’s manuscript have been published or are forthcoming in many distinguished journals and anthologies, including Poemeleon's Plague Papers Anthology, Museum of Americana, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, Harpy Hybrid, The Curator, and Ethel zine.
Murder in the House by Jessica Purdy