- “New American Best Friend” by Olivia Gatwood
- Read as a paperback
- 4/5 stars
- Finished September 11, 2017
One of the most recognizable young poets in America, Olivia Gatwood dazzles with her tribute to contemporary American womanhood in her debut book, New American Best Friend. Gatwood’s poems deftly deconstruct traditional stereotypes. The focus shifts from childhood to adulthood, gender to sexuality, violence to joy. And always and inexorably, the book moves toward celebration, culminating in a series of odes: odes to the body, to tough women, to embracing your own journey in all its failures and triumphs.
Olivia Gatwood blew me away with her poem “Ode to the Women on Long Island”, and I knew that I needed more of her. Her presence on stage is just phenomenal and her writing just blew me away.
I really enjoyed this tiny book of poetry, and because Gatwood’s voice is so distinctive, it was like I could hear her read them. There are many videos of her performing many of these poems, which is kind of a nice way to read this book. Gatwood has a thing for ode’s throughout this collection, and they’re pretty amazing.
The collection of poetry is small, but it packs a punch. I will say that I prefer to hear her perform her poems than read them, because she just brings them to life. But this is a really amazing feminist poetry collection, that speaks to the heart of what it means to be a modern day woman.
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