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Exciting debut poetry collection from Catherine Weiss about adolescence and what comes after.
Are you over middle school yet? Are you sure? Catherine Weiss's debut full-length poetry collection asks, how does one recover from growing up a girl? Weiss playfully confronts desire, fatness, addiction, queerness, mental illness, family, trauma, and dinosaurs with shocking vulnerability and biting wit in this poignant collection about adolescence and after.
“Catherine Weiss’s WOLF GIRLS VS. HORSE GIRLS is one of the most enjoyable poetry collections I’ve read in years. I say ‘enjoyable’ because what sets these poems apart is how they give pleasure in a way that seems almost obsolete in contemporary American poetry. The key part of that pleasure comes from the poet’s ability to amuse and be amused about even the most devastating things, as when she proposes a national holiday—a ‘Sorry Day’—for all of us to ‘find each other in the Database of Screennames’ on AOL ‘and apologize for the easy cruelties we enacted without knowing pain / we cause still counts as pain.’ Even just the titles of the poems seem to demonstrate this capacity, such as ‘the kiss counts as queer even though we were pretending to be dogs at the time,’ ‘nothing tastes as good as being nothing’ and, my personal favorite, ‘nonbinosaurus rex,’ possibly the greatest poem title ever. The humor is not just a coping mechanism but a vehicle for the poet’s incisive political intelligence, as when the speaker says in the latter poem, ‘when I was a girl I assumed I would grow up / to be a woman mostly because I wasn’t aware / of all the other options / or how it would eventually feel / to dig and dig and dig / only to uncover something obsolete.’ I can’t think of another voice quite like Catherine Weiss’s, that's able to deal with serious shit while never taking itself too seriously, and I recommend you drop everything you’re doing and read this book right now because this is the poetry you’ve been missing without knowing you’ve been missing it.” —Jason Koo, founder of Brooklyn Poets
“In WOLF GIRLS VS. HORSE GIRLS we encounter a voice of singular charm, authenticity, and force. Mirroring the psychic pains of childhood and the adult’s search for a stable sense of self, these poems unmake and remake themselves on the page, seeking original forms to evoke the bewilderment of living and longing in a body. ‘The future is made up of erosion; / the daily subtractions of grief from time,’ Weiss tells us, rendering over and over again the remarkable diptych of nostalgia and shame. Yet the poet’s rhetorical virtuosity fills each lyric with a powerfully human hope. Like an unreciprocated crush, Weiss’s poetry will drive you to dissect and reconstitute the atoms of your past experience, to face up to your own ‘inedible rot, made soft / with understanding.’” — Jay Deshpande, author of Love The Stranger
Poetry. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
Author Website Review @ The Winnow Magazine
Catherine Weiss is a poet and artist from Maine. Their poetry has been published in Tinderbox, Up the Staircase, Fugue, perhappened, Birdcoat, Bodega, Counterclock, petrichor, HAD, and Flypaper Lit. Catherine is the artist behind the collaborative poetry chapbook/card deck I WISH I WASN'T ROYALTY (Game Over Books, 2020). They are also the author of chapbook- length poem Fervor (Ginger Bug Press, 2021), full- length poetry collection WOLF GIRLS VS. HORSE GIRLS (Game Over Books, 2021), and forthcoming collection GRIEFCAKE (Game Over Books, 2023).