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A dazzling debut collection of raw and explosive poems about growing up in a sexist, sensationalized world, from a thrilling new feminist voice.
i’m a good girl, bad girl, dream girl, sad girl
girl next door sunbathing in the driveway
i wanna be them all at once, i wanna be
all the girls I’ve ever loved
Lauded for the power of her writing and having attracted an online fan base of millions for her extraordinary spoken-word performances, Olivia Gatwood now weaves together her own coming-of-age with an investigation into our culture’s romanticization of violence against women. At times blistering and riotous, at times soulful and exuberant, Life of the Party explores the boundary between what is real and what is imagined in a life saturated with fear. Gatwood asks, How does a girl grow into a woman in a world racked by violence? Where is the line between perpetrator and victim? In precise, searing language, she illustrates how what happens to our bodies can make us who we are.
Praise for Life of the Party:
“Delicately devastating, this book will make us all ‘feel less alone in the dark.’” (Miel Bredouw, writer and comedian, Punch Up the Jam)
“Gatwood writes about the women who were forgotten and the men who got off too easy with an effortlessness and empathy and anger that yanked every emotion on the spectrum out of me. Imagine, we get to live in the age of Olivia Gatwood. Goddamn.” (Jamie Loftus, writer and comedian, Boss Whom Is Girl and The Bechdel Cast)
“I cannot remember reading a collection of poems in one sitting before, but I dove through Gatwood’s in one evening - and then came up for air and dove again.” (Lauren Berry, author of The Lifting Dress)
“Olivia Gatwood is a revolution of woman, a flurry of insight harnessing the language of self-assessment and acceptance. Her poems invite a contemporary understanding of sexuality and the feminine form, feminism and inclusion, intersection and advocacy. Her metaphors and images are both breath and being. This book is an offering to the silenced, for firepower and reflection. A haystack of hallelujahs resides in these pages.” (Mahogany Browne, author of Black Girl Magic)
“I love Olivia Gatwood’s voice, her spirit, her genius way of turning and turning and turning a poem until it shines. These poems are a light. I’d follow this book anywhere. I’d trust it with my life.” (Carrie Fountain, author of Burn Lake)
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I have no words
This collection is too hard to describe. All I can say is awe inspiring. She speaks to the harsh world that we live in. The struggles of being a woman and afraid in a way that captivates and pulls you in. This collection is so well done and put together. Hits you hard and leaves you wanting more.
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poems for women who are girls at heart
I will always love Olivia Gatwood. I will always yearn for her next new poem, listening to each word and gobbling them up like they were written just for me to consume, fill me up and scream back out.
I want to give a copy of this book to my therapist and say listen and understand me.