Author of Uses of My Body - Winner of the 2020 Barrow Street Book Prize
IN THE PRESS
Uses of My Body is a bold first book about womanhood, daughterhood, and physical intimacy, and about how we experience these states only in larger communities of knowing. In these poems, Simone Savannah reaches an erotic zenith formerly known as the “lyric moment” in plainspoken and understated ways that make for surprise and awe: “The first time we met, we stood at each other’s bodies/talking directions and humidity./He said he wanted me/because he saw me standing/with my hip out in the middle of Kansas.” This is quite the unique and necessary debut
We are treated to the writer's body through her careful curation, just as the locations and the eyes remain hidden in nude pictures, some things are cut out at the discretion of the sender. This is a book of autonomy as much as anatomy. Savannah says, in the first poem, she wanted to write "something that speaks / to the way I am actually built/have moved and pushed / have drenched myself in sweat." I find her voice so refreshing, and the poems: vital.
Bold and vulnerable, political and personal, theoretical and actual, the dualities enacted by the poems in Uses of My Body create an unforgettable journey that invites readers to look and look again. I, certainly, am convinced to follow the collection’s closing advice to "be political about my yearning / erotic about my healing"
Lauren K. Alleyne
Simone Savannah, Ph.D. is the author of Uses of My Body (Barrow Street 2020) and Like Kansas (Big Lucks 2018). She is the winner of the Barrow Street Poetry Book Prize chosen by Jericho Brown.
Her poems and essays have been published in The Offing, Apogee, The Fem, Powder Keg, GlitterMob, Shade Journal, BreakBeat Poets, and several other journals and anthologies.
She earned her M.Ed and B.A. from Ohio University. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kansas. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at the University of Cincinnati.