Read Where the words end and my body begins by Amber Dawn Online


Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize finalistAward-winning novelist and memoirist Amber Dawn reveals a gutsy lyrical sensibility in her debut poetry collection: a collection of glosa poems written as an homage to and an interaction with queer poets such as Gertrude Stein, Christina Rossetti, and Adrienne Rich. By doing so, Dawn delves deeper into the themes of trauma, memory, andDorothy Livesay Poetry Prize finalistAward-winning novelist and memoirist Amber Dawn reveals a gutsy lyrical sensibility in her debut poetry collection: a collection of glosa poems written as an homage to and an interaction with queer poets such as Gertrude Stein, Christina Rossetti, and Adrienne Rich. By doing so, Dawn delves deeper into the themes of trauma, memory, and unblushing sexuality that define her work.Amber Dawn is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Sub Rosa and the memoir How Poetry Saved My Life (winner of the Vancouver Book Award). Her other awards include the Writers' Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize....

Title : Where the words end and my body begins
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781551525839
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 96 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Where the words end and my body begins Reviews

  • CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
    2019-04-09 16:16

    Have you ever heard of something called a glosa poem? If you haven’t, you’re like me when I picked up Amber Dawn’s debut poetry collection Where the Words End and My Body Begins, which is comprised of these things called glosa poems. I admit, I was intrigued and surprised: I mean, you don’t read a lot of contemporary poets who are using strict forms, let alone archaic forms that even a former English major like me hasn’t heard of! This book of poems is a welcome change from the sea of free verse that you usually find written by today’s poets.If you’re at all familiar with 20th century queer, lesbian, feminist, and survivorship poetry (especially from Canada), you’ll recognize a lot of the poets Amber Dawn has chosen for her glosas: Trish Salah, Gertrude Stein, Rachel Rose, Lucille Clifton, Adrienne Rich, Leah Horlick, Sina Queyras, Jillian Christmas, Lydia Kwa, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarashinha, and more! I love the idea that Where the Words End and My Body Begins is an ode to being a reader and writer, and a conversation between women poets. Despite the fact that writing can be about as isolating as work can get, these glosa poems create a kind of community on the page...See the rest of my review here.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)
    2019-04-18 17:26

    I got a review copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I normally save poetry to April but this was expiring prior to that date!All the poems in this book are in glosa form, something I hadn't heard of before - you take a stanza from a poem by someone else, and use one line in each of your own poem's stanzas. I thought it might be too formulaic but I love what the poet did with the lines. They allow her to be in dialogue with poets such as Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich, Leah Horlick, and others that were less known to me - and either magnifying or twisting their meaning.There are themes here - of queer identity first and foremost, but also mental illness, family, and love.My favorites include:-Queer Infinity"Never confuse hold fast with hold still"-Queer Grace"Fisting the forsaken mystery right out of each other."-Sandra Anna's Baby Book"You've asked me to forgive, and maybe this is how"-Together Six (partly because it turns the glosa upside down)"our love made us fabulists"

  • Briana
    2019-04-12 16:18

    Was intrigued by the title and drawn in by the first few poems, but just could not connect with the style of this writing...

  • Michelle
    2019-04-06 17:29

    Holy shit. I have to say that my queer lit class has the best syllabus I've ever seen. Without ego, since all I had to do with it was curation, and all admiration and appreciation since the queer Canadian writers I put on this syllabus are literally everything. This book, which I assigned without pre-reading because I've read and loved all of Amber Dawn's other books, prose, collected and poetry, was my favourite of her works. While reading, I cried and I also stopped and said both "fuck yes" and "oh fuck yes." This book is an "oh fuck yes" kind of book. It's incredible. Oh fuck yes.

  • Sinclair
    2019-03-19 18:15

    Brilliant, I so love the form that she uses throughout the book. It makes me want to try my hand at that form myself. So glad to have more of her work on my shelf.

  • Maggie Gordon
    2019-04-14 19:25

    Where the words end and my body begins is a fascinating collection of poems that work in lines from other poets. Dawn's use of these external words is seamless most of the time, and the poems themselves are gritty, yet beautiful. This is an ode to queer love, all the harsh and breathtaking aspects of it.

  • Brook
    2019-04-01 16:12

    A wonderful collection of glosses of queer poems old and new. This took me all over the place emotionally, and was sad, and beautiful. I never have the words to describe poetry, but I loved this collection, and would happily slip it into bags and purses in a guerrilla advertising campaign.

  • Amy
    2019-03-28 14:36

    So, this is my introduction to the glosa poem - never formally encountered this poetic form before, and really appreciate the author's introductory commentary on what it is, and why it's a form that can blend queer history, trauma, activism and present. That being said, I actually wished this volume was significantly longer...I was really starting to get into the meld of AD's voice with that of poets from the past and present, when it ended. I suppose I can't be too upset about that - since I don't imagine writing in this style is particularly easy - however, I did feel a little unexpectedly cut off right when I was starting to hear AD's voice really start to emerge in a coherent way above the voices of the poets she quoted.

  • Véronique
    2019-04-12 20:11

    Another that is really 4 1/2 stars. Maybe I should give out more 5s.I'm pretty ignorant about poetry. I think I'm hopelessly prosaic. I write song lyrics, and that's as close to poetic as I get. But I have come to appreciate poetry, and Amber Dawn is one writer who has helped that. I loved this glosa form, with which I was not familiar. I loved reading the quatrains at the beginning before seeing how they were used in the glosa poem. I love how Amber Dawn is really playing with language here and communicating important truths. I will probably read this book several times more because there is so much to absorb.

  • Meaghan
    2019-03-21 17:09

    This poetry collection was so refreshing in its innovation and callback to previous poets' works. I had never heard of the glosa poem before, which takes a quatrain from another poet and uses it like a prompt for conversation; each poem has four ten-line stanzas, with the last lines being sequentially taken from the established poem. It was so interesting to see Dawn's mind work from the original poem to these new messages. Themes explored in this collection center on suicidal/trauma survivorship, LGBT sexuality and community, and feminism.

  • grace 🕊
    2019-04-06 13:34

    this book did not cut it for me which was a bit disappointing considering some of the hype around it :// there was only one “poem” (more of a phrasing) in this that stuck out to me and the rest was hard to follow and i found myself waiting to see how long there was left. it almost seemed as if the author searched for ‘big vocabulary words’ to use and just threw them in there 🤷‍♀️. the writing style i absolutely could not connect with. perhaps if i was a bit older i could actually understand what it was even about lol, but nope, not for me.

  • Jen
    2019-04-05 13:13

    I tried to get past the over abundance of $10 words and arrogance that seemed to come from the page, but I eventually stopped when Ginsberg was the figure used to mention the Stonewall riots. This is very clearly a book written by a queer White woman for other queer White women. Not much in there for anyone else.

  • Ellen
    2019-04-16 17:18

    God, I loved this book. I have never read any glosa poetry before, and I really love the form. But most of all, the subject matter of these poems really hit close to home. They really do bring you on a heartfelt journey of queer life, full of rage and love and beauty.

  • Mindy Rose
    2019-03-22 17:14

    fittingly, my quest this year for poetry that speaks to me ends with the book that also tops off my @goodreads reading goal for the year. beautiful, heart wrenching, agonizingly lovely queer poetry by @amberdawnwrites ..this brought me to tears and filled me with pure love. 5/5.

  • Laura
    2019-04-12 19:21

    I enjoyed how she connected to the work of other queer poets and how visceral her poems are.

  • Miranda
    2019-04-04 19:07

    This collection of poetry had a great flow and style to it. Every poem tells a story or creates a discussion. Just wish it had been longer!

  • Dana Neily
    2019-03-28 14:34

    Beautiful content in a valuable form that allows conversation between poets, and exposes readers to greater connections.

  • Story Circle Book Reviews
    2019-04-07 16:12

    Amber Dawn wanted to gloss. That is, she wanted to write poems called glosas: four ten-line stanzas in which the last line of each stanza "derived sequentially from a quatrain of another poet." It gave Dawn an opportunity to interact with her peers and the poets who influenced her. She connected with the "survivorship verse" of Lucille Clifton and other legendary poets as well as contemporary poets who are among her friends and "part of larger queer literary communities.""Story Book," begins with four lines from Clifton's "won't you celebrate with me." Dawn's response begins: "Be here with me only if you can." Perhaps that first line could apply to every poem in the book. In this particular poem she continues: "The 1900 block of Pandora / is where I was raped by three men/ You don't have to do anything but listen."She strays from the strict glosa form, as she says "when breaking the rules served me. Glossing allowed me to immerse myself in a kind of living appreciation for poetry and for the personal memories and values that shape my writing."If we listen as the poet suggests in "Story Book" and act as witness, we also can celebrate the poet's "return to Pandora" where "Chosen family in leather welcome one another." Dawn's words meet with Clifton's in the last line: "come celebrate.""A tough life needs a tough language—and that is what poetry is," Jeanette Winterson wrote in her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal. She said literature "isn't a hiding place. It is a finding place."In this collection of glosas, Dawn forges into that "finding place," a courageous testimony to her own survivorship as well as to the poets who have inspired her. She describes those inspirers as "somewhere along the queer, gender-creative, feminist, and/or survivor spectrum."In "Sandra Anna's Baby Book" that begins with four lines from contemporary poet Ritz Chow's "to bring you home," Dawn writes: "I've claimed the page / is where a poet heals. So I offer this poem / as our long-ago cricket song, our brightly-lit cellar door / our spray of new maple keys on the forest floor."The form poem can help tell a story not yet told, naming the previously unnamable. Dawn, in an interview, encourages writers to explore form poetry as it "gives poetry a place to live, and poetry shouldn't be homeless."I've been reading Mary Karr's The Art of Memoir and what she says about "life-story writers" definitely applies to Amber Dawn: "Truth is not their enemy. It's the banister they grab for when feeing around on the dark cellar stairs. It's the solution."Speaking of the truth, in an interview in PRISM International, Dawn says she wants to write about trauma and healing. The reason she gives is "Because I want to fight stigma and I want to add to the texts that exist that other survivors will read and hopefully feel seen within."In the interview, Dawn says: "I'm always looking for community. I'm looking to belong to something bigger than my own lived experience... There's my final answer. There's the truth."Dawn literally met with contemporary poets to share her poems. As for the poets no longer with us, such as Gertrude Stein, Christina Rossetti, Lucille Clifton and Adrienne Rich, Dawn joined them in a "kindred conversation." The poets seemed to invite her in and she offered something back. I can imagine her finding delight in the particular unfolding of her glosas, as I did in reading them."Let me remind you queer roots reach deep. / Never forget the graves of our foremamas and papas, like" Dawn writes in "Queer Grace." She meets Adrienne Rich's words with the last line: "our animal passion, are rooted underground."by Mary Ann Moorefor Story Circle Book Reviewsreviewing books by, for, and about women

  • Lauren
    2019-04-12 13:15

    I love the form this poet decided to write in- "... four ten-line stanzas, with the last line of each stanza derived sequentially from a quatrain of another poet... - A Glossa is an opportunity for a keen poet to interact with their peers and influences." I thought this was really unique and I love how she decided to create her own poems fueled by the powerful lines of other poets she looked up to / admired and whose words resonated deeply with her.

  • Dallas
    2019-04-16 13:20

    Amber Dawn is one of my very favourite writers, and I was delighted to discover that her poetry sparkles just as much as her fiction and memoir. Reading her work is always a feast for the senses, inspiring and emotionally resonant.

    2019-04-07 13:26 by Tiana ReidThe first time I read Amber Dawn's Where the Words End and My Body Begins, I was standing over my kitchen counter peeling and eating tangerines. It wasn't my plan to dive in right away but I didn't want to do the dishes and it had just come in the mail, replete with a soft pastel cover that is at once sugary and arcane, paradisal and dismal.There I was with wet fingers, slurping all over this freshly published collection."you never considered yourself femme"This is Dawn's first book of poems. She's written a novel, Sub Rosa and a memoir, How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler's Memoir, in addition to editing several anthologies. With this new work, it feels not exactly like she's sharing secrets, though there are some, but that she is in the middle of the street, making pain and pleasure known, whether you like it or not.Like all writers who take reading seriously, she has help from some of her most intimate literary influences. This interplay is magnified by the 15th-century Spanish poetic form on which Where the Words End riffs: the glosa.But, forget the 15th century for now; this book's birth is in P.K. Page's Hologram: A Book of Glosas, the first book of poetry that Dawn bought as a student at the University of British Columbia.As Dawn writes in her introduction, called "Glossy Solidarity," the conventional form of a glosa consists of "four 10-line stanzas, with the last line of each stanza derived sequentially from a quatrain of another poet -- a glosa is an opportunity for a keen poet to interact with their peers and influences."Most stirring is a sentence that puts desire on the table, a desire that frames the rest: "I too wanted to gloss," she writes.Read more here:

  • Alexis
    2019-04-11 16:35

    A beautiful book of femme inspired, queer poetry. Amber Dawn is a power house.

  • Lauren
    2019-04-11 13:25

    I didn't like every poem in this collection, but I did love quite a few of them. Queer Infinity, Together Six, Queer as Wives, Sandra Anna's Baby Boom, Dirt Bag Love Affair... that's enough that maybe I should buy my own copy.I've never read glosa poems before, so I have little basis to judge, but it was fun to read how Amber Dawn played with the original lines. She does a great job at evoking image and analogy, and also a sense of life piled up on someone, life in more than one moment. I appreciated Dirt Bag Love Affair a lot because I'm also a rural kid now living in the city.

  • Jane Eaton Hamilton
    2019-04-01 12:24

    Amber Dawn explodes my mind. Achingly beautiful. You’ll be sweetened, entranced and scared in equal measure by Amber Dawn’s glosas. Her words are pulled on you like knives. This is a wordsmith at the height of her powers. You’ll have to read these again and again, just to be sure the gorgeous is real, and after you do, you won’t ever be satisfied with another ordinary day--you’ll need to pound on Amber Dawn’s door shouting at her to turn shopping and sex and sunset into poems just so you can go on living.

  • Ely (Tea & Titles)
    2019-04-05 14:33

    I've never read glosa poems before, and I really liked that format. I loved the first half of poems, but then I started to get a little lost. I have such different life experiences to Amber Dawn that some of the poems meanings and emotions went over my head. It's still a beautiful collection.

  • Niya
    2019-04-04 14:08

    If nothing else Dawn's word is engaging because she adapts a poetic form that few readers will have encountered before and does it artfully. That her poetry has the rawness that any reader will find engaging just make the collection more engaging.

  • Steven
    2019-03-23 18:31

    Arsenal press has a way of making you buy their books and then wonder if you can return them! I expected more from amber dawn who I have met and respected but this collection of poetry is low tide weak and is missing the flair she normally has!

  • Tanis
    2019-04-16 16:17

    I read this terrific books of glosas in one gulp, and I'll go back for more. Beautiful poetic stylings, it's also a book about finding love and community and protetcing them fiercely.

  • Jen
    2019-04-03 14:33

    Neat format, just wasn't for me I guess

  • Nicole
    2019-03-24 14:10

    These poems make me feel like I'm part of something, a hard-fought queer legacy of survival and joy. I want to live in them.