Anatomie of the World
by Annie Dawid
Annie Dawid calls “Skin” your “most available erogenous zone.” But we find in the title poem an algebraical dance of capital letters, like elementals, proliferating: AIDS as well as Mrs. L and friends E and D—even “Fragile X syndrome”; only in the end do “we fit/palm to palm,” we variously named and lettered. All devolves, hands to hands, fingers to fingers, to touch: “rough hands new upon raw skin.” The hard flesh, the battered body, this is where mercy resides, and restores. This is a book that gets under the skin because only there is “help/the public need never see.” This book is about painful victories, and is itself a hard-won delight.
–Bin Ramke, Yale Younger Prizewinner, most recent book Missing the Moon
Dawid’s “Anatomie of the World” travels amongst the saved and the sacrificed, articulating struggle with lyricism and frankness. Many of the poems chart the ways of a Jewish woman writer, both fettered and enriched by her cultural and literary history. Much of the work highlights contrasts: between scenery, generations, cultural identities, genders. This contrast of the lyricism on the page with the crushing nature of the subjects illuminated proves the outstanding nature of this volume.
–Elizabeth Burns, author of TILT
Dawid’s poems are lightning-flash rides into the visceral heart of a collective anatomie. Her narratives are edgy, political, at times, excruciatingly personal. Her language glitters with gritty exactitudes and pivotal metaphor. In these poems, Dawid is both world-wise and tender-souled. She is the clear-eyed witness to the travesties and yearnings of love and faith beyond the picket fence.
–Kathryn Winograd, author of Phantom Canyon: Essays of Reclamation and Colorado Book Award winner Air Into Breath: Poems
The combination of literary and political erudition, compassion, and passion in these poems invites readers in as if such complex worlds are always easy to enter. With a faultless ear, and unstrained, yet original, voices, the speaker beguiled me into swallowing the poems whole, and now they trouble and prod and school me. In an age when we too often speak glibly of diversity and inclusion, these ask me to share in experiences of marginalization and loss for Jews, lesbians, gays, AIDS victims and survivors, single women, short people, the loveless, the silent, and those of us sputtering with suffering. Without ever being sentimental, Dawid names the names, saves the names, and in these deeply personal, felt poems, she places her beloveds in their rightful places in history. I have followed Annie Dawid‘s fiction for decades now. In this, her first book of poetry, I find an entirely new writer, and these make me ask her to please call herself poet, and give us more.
–Carol Darnell Guerrero-Murphy, author of TABLE WALKING AT NIGHTHAWK, POEMS, WINNER OF THE WILLA AWARD