Instructions for Killing the Jackal might not actually be a manual for killing Canis aureus, but it could be a guidebook for poets hoping to write with originality and confidence. The author of a previous chapbook, Silt (Dancing Girl Press 2009), and the poetry editor for Guernica, Erica Wright’s first full-length collection is clever and sleek, a swift read with sufficient gravity. The book is a paradox, and yet so is the jackal: monogamous and loyal, yet fiercely yapping when it discovers carrion. Wright’s collection includes small towns and abandoned TB hospitals, as well as poems set in Europe, where antiquity and myth bleed into the contemporary moment. Violence and pain subtly coexist, to the benefit of both elements.