Thursday, October 6, 2016

What I've Read: bodys by Vanessa Roveto

Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

bodys, the debut book of poetry by Vanessa Roveto, is a dreamlike landscape that underscores the inherent chaos of being human. The bodies of bodys are objects colliding with each other, and none of the anonymous characters of its prose poems are safe from objectification and otherness. Images related to food, sex, the body, medicine, death, and the trappings of modern culture all intersect with each other in a surreal, stream-of-consciousness fashion. Each poem is at once intimate, tender and brutal; the text refuses to let the reader be comfortable, subverting expectations and loosening structures as it builds them. Wry, eviscerating, and experimental, bodys tests the reader's comprehension of its numerous ideas and commands for attention in every phrase. There is an inherent orality to the poetic voice that situates the poems staunchly in the performative, uncomfortable, and dynamic - like bodies, these poems are both actors and acted upon.

I'd whole-heartedly recommend bodys for fans of surrealist poetry, bizarro fiction, and experimental literature in general. Squeamish readers or staunch traditionalists might want look elsewhere - unless they want to read something that challenges conventions at every turn and leaves them with much to unpack.

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