“From her amazingly visceral opening of Let There Be Light to her final haunting echo in the book’s Epilogue, Burnell’s voice jumps off the page, much like a microphone-wielding circus MC standing center ring.”
— Kevin Hogan
“The magic of the perpetual condition is not the animal in us, but our compulsion to be like God. It is creation. Not animalism. Every kiss has the possibility of creating a galaxy, a universe, a life. It is this act of creation which we are compelled to call blessed.”
— Act IV: Chaos Machines
Usurper Kings is an inspection of the feminine through time. Sapha Burnell's large scale debut on the surface, is a poetry collection in five Acts. However, without each poem's strength and individual beauty at that exact placement, the entire structure would fold in on itself. Move a piece, and the laws governing the works are turned on their heads. Without each work proclaiming its necessity, obstinate in its existence, Usurper Kings would serve no purpose, and become a litany of words rather than a treatise on cosmology and feminism throughout time and beyond our scope.