“In THE LOST POSITIVE, her stellar second collection of poetry, Elizabeth Strauss Friedman casts the slog of domestic, compulsory heterosexuality into the stars—the result is a new mythology, 'a wandering bruise / of glamour,' in which women refuse to negatively refract. Figures like Medea, Medusa, and Ariadne are recast, consorting with the likes of Tori Amos and Gloria Steinem, now authorially empowered and self-possessed. These are poems of reclamation: the 'Boss Ass Bitch' and the 'diva immune to debasement' take back the patriarchal lore, 'pulling in stars by the pail.' Masterfully inventive, THE LOST POSITIVE unravels female disenfranchisement until we are left pulsing with renewed agency, self-knowledge, and the urgency of foresight.”
—Jenny Molberg, author of The Court of No Record and Refusal: Poems
“Opens into the woman behind the myth, who has been hidden in darkness, or misconstrued as object or conquest. Strauss Friedman ventriloquizes the voices of these women with agility and originality, moving through wit, stunning intelligence, tenderness, and lyricism, as she both revises our take on history and speaks clearly to our present conundrums. This is a book we’ve been needing, and it took my breath away with its world-weary knowing. These voices are 'As women ought to be,' alive 'outside male invalidation / advertently galloping into stardust.'”
—Rachel Jamison Webster, author of September and Mary is a River
“Elizabeth Strauss Friedman’s THE LOST POSITIVE is a feminist tour de force. Her use of Euripides' epigraph from Medea in section one sets the stakes of this powerful and unrelenting collection— 'Of all creatures that can feel and think, we women are the worst treated things alive.' Strauss Friedman uses ancient myths and stories of the constellations to highlight the coded and overt misogyny of our culture, and these poems thrum with abuses of women in our own time. This is a book where the speakers do not turn away from any horror or injustice so, at times, it takes its toll on them: 'The more I learn of this world / the less I want of it.' In THE LOST POSITIVE, Strauss Friedman proves herself as a savvy cultural critic and a fiercely original poet at the height of her powers. Her ear for language—alliteration, slant rhyme, and lexical play—all serve to underscore the urgency of women's place in a post-Roe America. 'My imagination my only unvarnished possession. / I weep for what I've lost. Or, for what I never had.' It’s a difficult task to write a collection of poems that is equally artistic and activist but THE LOST POSITIVE admirably succeeds.”
—Jennifer Franklin, author of If Some God Shakes Your House
Elizabeth Strauss Friedman is the author of the poetry collection The Eggshell Skull Rule (Kelsay Books, 2018) and the chapbook Gathered Bones are Known to Wander (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2016). Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, and her work has appeared in Pleiades, Rust + Moth, The Rumpus, [PANK], and elsewhere.