Cover Image: Woman, Eat Me Whole

Woman, Eat Me Whole

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Member Reviews

This wasn't what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised at how wonderful this book is. Diaka's use of imagery and metaphor is tight, and her rhythms and the cleverness of her phrasing makes reading these pieces an aural delight. Furthermore, the subject matter is quite poignant. This is a feminist view of the violence perpetrated against women and is a necessary book for 2022. This is a strongly recommended poetry collection.
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I don’t always know the best way to review a poetry collection because poetry as a form of writing is so personal. Sometimes poetry isn’t written for me to understand, it was written for the author and the people who share the same experiences. Woman, Eat Me Whole was a physical experience for me. It was vulnerable and made me feel vulnerable. It reminded me of the pain and power that exists within womanhood in a way that is infuriating and beautiful. These poems were hard to swallow but easy to digest, they’re accessible and understandable. I thoroughly enjoyed this collection as a reading experience, thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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My biggest complaint about this book is that it's incredibly exclusionary to Trans and Non-bonary people who are also women. If it is, indeed, about women then it should be about all women, not just cis women. That being said, I enjoyed the grit and visceral energy that the author brought to her work. Every single poem was thoughtful and moving in a different way. Even the way that the words were laid out on the page brought a layer of intensity to her writing. Overall, I genuinely enjoyed this book and really would have liked to have given it the four stars that it deserves, but in this day and age there's just no excuse for this level of exclusion and indifference towards Trans and Non-binary individuals.
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2.5 - 3 stars 

Incredibly evocative, with each piece the author built up so many layers and visuals. I also really enjoyed the different structures and formats—verse, tweets, office memos, dictionary entries, and many more— for each poem it really added texture and variety to the collection. 

So the reason why I couldn’t rate this one any higher is because there seemed to be a heavy emphasis on uteruses and other reproductive organs, which is incredibly exclusionary to trans women and very disappointing considering this collection was supposed to focus on women not just cis women. My enjoyment significantly waned the further I got into the collection, as I stated before I did feel that the author built layers and visuals with each piece but there was a strain of repetitiveness (uteruses, wombs, ovaries, eggs, etc.) that got to be a tiring. 

Overall, I started off really enjoying this read but with the continued exclusion of trans women and the repeated use of reproductive organs--which instead of pushing away from the narrative that (some)women are nothing but certain organs it felt like it started doing the opposite--got to be tiring and repetitive. Maybe if the collection is read a poem at a time instead of back to back it would feel less repetitive and more enjoyable.

ARC given by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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This is a book of poetry that is decidedly female in the way that it talks about what it means to be a woman through the lens of race, health (in particular pain and chronic pain), motherhood, and society in general. There is a duality to the collection that seems very on-brand. The collection feels both deeply personal and also the story of every woman. The verse is beautifully written but also totally accessible. The language feels soft and also very hard, there is an edge in the lyricism that functions as a commentary. I can't wait to own a finished copy of this wonderful collection. It spoke to me and moved me in the exact way I want poetry to move me.
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