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As Lisa Mecham writes in her poem “Refraction,” “I’m always in the wrong spot”—the spots, with gratitude, we see reflected on the page. As evidenced by the section titles, the book is one of both humor and gravity. Outside nasty weather / Inside nasty women.” Expressing “nastiness” within a formal poem is a middle finger to the establishment, to those who wouldn’t care to see us shine, to see us published, to those who choose not to love us, those who see our bodies as objects and our poems as too angry, too nagging, too narrow, and too nasty. ” I can’t help but think of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz wearing a shirt on television emblazoned with the words “Nasty Woman.” Though this anthology is designed to appeal to a broad audience of nasty women, readers who are also writers may see themselves especially represented.That was the beauty for me, as a woman reader of such an anthology, that I saw myself in so many moments of these poems. The poems are curated in an attempt to reflect our varied lives, how our bodies journey through triumph and danger, controlled in and out of our hands. This anthology also does some innovative work with form. This anthology exists outside of the literary world, but also inside of it. I wish / I could rewrite this story, saying / no one nodded off or walked out, / saying the big man’s poems were enough / to fly us beyond judgment’s orbit/ to where the real stars burn.” as well.One of feminist poetry’s most poignant functions names support’s necessity by calling out its absence. I read this book after attending the Florida March for Black Women, which filled Miami’s streets.In witnessing pain and desperation on the page, we acknowledge mutual experience. I read the anthology reclined with my arm around my girlfriend. is an affirmation that we are not alone, that there is power in numbers, in numbers of words and numbers of women.
Mornings, I dab vanilla extract on my nipples to jump-start my day.
is a literary march for women, each writer lifting her pen to be counted, casting her votes.
For me as a woman writer, the acknowledgement of mutual support has been unequivocally powerful. I read this anthology over several weeks in the Fall of 2017, carrying the book in my backpack and bag, on my bicycle and in my car.
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