Fat Girl Finishing School is the first full-length collection of poems from Rachel Wiley, the Queer-Biracial-Feminist poet, performer and body-positive activist whose work spans from body image, to love and loss, and feminism. Fat Girl Finishing School is a love letter to the body. When confronted with fatphobia, sexism, misogyny, and shame each poem chooses self-love, despite society’s expectations. This is a book steeped in experience, every story is striking, powerful, and unmistakably palpable.
I can very much relate to this book. Unfortunately, eating disorders and anxiety are very real issues that are really hard to talk about and tackle, but this book did a great job of it. As a woman who deals with many of these issues every day, many of these verses resonated with me deeply.
Wiley’s poems create a striking and very real commentary on important issues in our society. But this collection of poems covers much more than just eating disorders―gender, race, and faith are just a few of the various themes these poems touch on. These are more than just poems; they are special stories of the struggle for personal growth, self acceptance, and understanding the human experience. More than just a book about one single identity, Fat Girl Finishing School makes intersectionality multi-dimensional.
Rebecca Dunham is a poet and Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she teaches creative writing. Her work has been described as post-confessional and concerns itself with feminist and ecological issues. Her most recent publication, Cold Pastoral, is a collection of poems based on modern ecological disasters such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She has published four other collections of poetry, including Fascicle, Glass Armonica, The Miniature Room, and The Flight Cage.
Q: What does Cold Pastoral mean, for you? What do you hope readers gain after reading the poems?
Personally, the book marks a point in my life when I had to take stock of my place in the world around me, as well as the function of poetry within that world. For readers, I hope that the poet-speaker’s journey will resonate with those of us who may mean well, but who have also blinded ourselves to the mounting human and environmental crises around us. I would hope that the book will encourage readers to consider their responsibility to others, as well as potential for language and literature to enact change. Continue reading
Jill McDonough’s book of poetry Reaper is written at a desperate time for humanity. We currently face the very real threats of overpopulation, pollution and global warming, all of which stir up questions of control and technology. McDonough brings awareness to these issues while at the same time providing hope for the future.
McDonough predicts that the loss of our humanity, of nature, and the loss of human nature – the loss of the self – will all be, in part, due to the rise of technology. We, as a species, are becoming numb to our own desires, “wanting … wanting” (10). People are currently content to be “distracted” (16), brainwashed, in a sense, numb to life. We take for granted the little things, things that don’t require technology, like emotions, feelings, or experiences; the more we allow technology to rule our loves, the more we lose sight of our true selves.