R E D is an erasure of Bram Stoker's Dracula. A long poem in 27 chapters, R E D excavates from Stoker's text an original narrative of violence, sexual abuse, power dynamics, vengeance, and feminist rage while wrestling with the complexities of gender, transition, and monsterhood.
In R E D, Chase Berggrun deconstructs [Dracula] in a series of erasure poems and uncovers a new narrative embedded in the text ... Berggrun modifies the multiple layers of voices in Stoker’s novel to exorcise its misogynist violence. This polyvocal, multimedia approach allows Berggrun to adopt the chorus of voices that make up 'this terrible story' and create a new story that affirms, rather than effaces, its narrator’s identity ... The power in Berggrun’s project comes from the form of erasure poetry.
Immediately striking, R E D’s narrator, despite the horror she faces, is a striking figure. She moves into her own story at a run and does not slow down or stop ... The writing flows ... Berggrun’s success is obvious ... Berggrun’s work has made the original, at its most base form, even richer. The language is made anew, and with it, a new story unfolds ... R E D is as assured of itself as it is assuring to read.
In Berggrun’s striking debut, a book-length erasure of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, that text becomes fertile soil for cultivating complex story of sexual awakening, domestic abuse, and liberation ... The brief prefatory note on process, indicating that the book 'was written at the same time its author had begun their own gender transition,' gives deeper symbolic resonance to the material transformation of text ... Capped by a challenging conclusion, Berggrun’s assured composition is neither beholden to the original nor so distant as to be unclear in its motivation.