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)
“Life of the Party is an electrifying collection of poems about the agonies and ecstasies of being a young woman.” (Leigh Stein, author of Land of Enchantment)
“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’ve read every poem in Life of the Party. I’ve read each of them more than once. In some parts of the book the spine is already breaking because I’ve spent so much time poring over it and losing hours in this world Olivia Gatwood has partly created, but partly just invited the reader to enter on their own, caution signs be damned. This book is enlightening, inspiring, igniting, and f---ing scary. I loved every word on every page with a ferocity that frightened me.” (Madeline Brewer, actress, The Handmaid’s Tale, Orange Is the New Black, and Cam)
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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.
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.