Methinks “g (space) hyphen (space) d” would not mind these poems: it’s charming, after all, to be considered “like an art project, / something to jump through, / a song that continues to be played”—lines that also operate as an ars poetica for these enchantingly skittering poems. “The ritual” is the collection’s tour de force partly for indicating rationale: Pangea, and by implication the lostness of Pangea which begot that strain (and religions) within humanity of making connections. The result are poems uplifted by its loving motivation: “for love, include: / binoculars. oprah. / megabytes of / forgiveness, / a vase of memory / strapped to our heads, / like miners. one rsvp card. / it passes between our hands /until it becomes liquid.”
–Eileen R. Tabios, author of MANHATTAN: An Archaeology
In Parts of love, Paulson-McEwen creates a mythology of intimacy and womanhood that is a visceral and very real landscape in which the scenery is as cutting as it is, at times, genuinely sweet. Paulson-McEwen plays with paradox, excavating moments of hope amongst the seeming ruins, “that signal you sent – / a dagger of fire / amongst all the black – / will bring me home /”. These poems are not merely to be read, but to be dissolved into with a whole and vulnerable spirit.
–Robin Richardson, author of Sit How You Want (2018) and Editor-in-Chief, Minola Review
Dina Paulson-McEwen’s Parts of love dives deep into the messy, the sensual and the beautiful. She has found a way to make real love even more real, presenting us with both small and profound moments that clearly express that ache within all of us, or in her words, “the biggest windstorm you have felt inside.” Within many of the poems, Dina gives us a story with instances of juxtaposition, like disappointment and hope. Dina’s talent extends well beyond the poignant imagery she presents in her work, but the way she’s able to move us through this collection leaves us with the feeling of a windstorm inside. Without a doubt, she captures each part of love brilliantly. It is impossible to read her work and not be moved.
–Abbie Copeland, Founder and Editor of Dying Dahlia Review
Dina Paulson-McEwen’s Parts of love conjures the lovers’ girlbodies in celebratory invocation. Simultaneously site of desire, sexual fulfillment, ritual, and reproduction, the girl body is figured also as site of disobedience, investigation, erasure, trauma of the medicalized self. Paulson-McEwen’s response? Go into dream, into ritual, into love-making and self-love, resistance writ as love-cum-beloved. The speaker, her desire for the body-beloved—“The sum of empathy/ from inside parts”—correlates child-making and the lover’s fervor for the beloved. As language proliferates, adopts excess and inundation, splinters into Italian, love’s language—ti bacio di più—embodied and pan-geographic, Parts of love proclaims “heaven/ is constant dancing.” Tantric, celebratory, bewitching, Parts of love takes l-o-v-e as a new divine/beloved, site and center of worship, ecstatically evoking love’s manifold quotidian forms against any and all erasures.
–Marthe Reed, author of Nights Reading