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, The Lifting Dress
Olivia Gatwood 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.
In 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.
Gatwood is at her best here: blending sharp storytelling with attention to craft, making sure each finish line leaves a reader breathless. These are poems that dig into you, build a home, and stay a while.
- Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, The Crown Ain't Worth Much
Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.
With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art, and writing from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.
Each of the 24 poems is an irresistible invitation to take up space in community and in society, and each is eminently recitable, taking its own place in the spoken-word tradition. Read it; gift it; use it to challenge, protect, and grow.
- Kirkus Reviews