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January 1, 2019 / barton smock

{ review by Jessica Purdy of Devon Balwit’s ~ A Brief Way to Identify a Body ~ }


devonbalwitA Brief Way to Identify a Body
poems, by Devon Balwit
Ursus Americanus Press (2018)


Devon Balwit is a master of writing poems in conversation with other artists. She has written three other books inspired by writers and artists. In the case of this particular collection, all of the poems have an epigraph from a Sylvia Plath poem (save one), and a couple have epigraphs from Lucia Perillo’s writing. One immediately gets the sense from the gorgeous painting on the cover alone, that the speaker of these poems came to do battle. Whether it’s a battle of female against her responsibilities as a mother, the battle of female vs. her mate, or the female self vs. herself, no dark feeling of female “selfhood” is left unturned in the light of this poet’s words.

The book’s cover art by Cristina Troufa depicts what appears to be a fight between two…

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