How does one live through trauma and emerge applauding all the good that came from it? In her debut poetry collection, Julia Gaskill strives to answer this question. WEIRDO is a praise of girlhood through the lens of grief. This book delves into the death of a mother, the loss of religion alongside the discovery of one’s queerness, and the friends who adore you for all your stubborn eccentricities. Simultaneously a love letter and a eulogy to one’s childhood, weirdo walks a tightrope through a muddled youth to find the people who better you, the memories worth holding onto, and the person who came out the other side despite everything.
“weirdo is my favorite kind of poetry book, which is to say that it is a poetry book of self-examination that is rich with sharp wit and clever language, but also does incredible work to be kind to not only the speaker of the poems, but also the many worlds that speaker inhabits and the many people who live among them. These wonderful poems are the best kind of mirror.” —Hanif Abdurraqib, author of A Little Devil in America: In Praise of Black Performance
“in weirdo, julia gaskill has created a loving portrait of the losses, heartbreaks, and fragile joys of her own girlhood. her writing is singular and instantly recognizable, and her voice is stronger than it’s ever been in this collection. like the stories she tells, it is memorable and entirely her own.” —Clementine von Radics, author of In a Dream You Saw a Way to Survive
“cinematic and captivating, julia gaskill’s weirdo is so much more than a collection of poetry— it is a bronze monument erected for the childhood friends who helped the author navigate a patina girlhood suddenly stripped of a mother. it is a time capsule for the eighth grade with all the heartbreak, angst, and awkwardness of a middle school diary, coupled with stunning perception and self-awareness of how our wounds inform our lives. if you’ve ever been to group therapy, weirdo will call to mind how, when watching someone else investigate and make meaning of their own psyche, the onlooker is compelled to explore their own. gaskill’s work lives at the intersection of where ‘gay’ and ‘weird’ meet — that gorgeous word ‘queer’ — that unabashed devotion to loving what and who you love without squashing your heart to appease the heartless. throughout the narrative arc of this collection, the writer loses her mother, loses her god, and finds herself in the salvation of early female friendship. finally, this book is a permission slip to be your most authentic self. everyone will want to be a weirdo after reading this. it reads with all the propulsive of a novel, which is to say, i could not put it down.” —megan falley, award winning poet and essayist, author of drive here and devastate me
Poetry. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
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Julia Gaskill (she/her) is a professional daydreamer hailing from Portland, Oregon. She's competed multiple times on national stages and has toured with her poetry across North America. Her work has been published through Nailed Magazine, FreezeRay Poetry, Knight's Library Magazine, and more, and she's had her poetry featured on YouTube channels such as SlamFind and Write About Now. She was included in the 2020 anthology In Absentia, and she collaborated with the band Impulse Control on the track "Television" off their latest album. Her poem 'I Will Not Beg For Scraps' was nominated for Best of the Net in 2015. Julia is the author of four chapbooks, runs the mic Slamlandia out of Portland, co-founded the Bigfoot Regional Poetry Slam in 2019, and is the creator of the spoken word album, Stouthearted Bitch. She is ecstatic to have her debut poetry collection put out through Game Over Books.