Book Review: Virgin by Analicia Sotelo

vTitle: Virgin
Author: Analicia Sotelo
Published: 2018
Genre: P
Format: Paperback
Pages: 95
Source: Library
Date Read: April 11, 2018
Grade: C+
Synopsis: Selected by Ross Gay as winner of the inaugural Jake Adam York Prize, Analicia Sotelo’s debut collection of poems is a vivid portrait of the artist as a young woman.

In Virgin, Sotelo walks the line between autobiography and myth-making, offering up identities like dishes at a feast. These poems devour and complicate tropes of femininity–of naiveté, of careless abandon–before sharply exploring the intelligence and fortitude of women, how “far & wide, / how dark & deep / this frigid female mind can go.” At every step, Sotelo’s poems seduce with history, folklore, and sensory detail–grilled meat, golden habaneros, and burnt sugar–before delivering clear-eyed and eviscerating insights into power, deceit, relationships, and ourselves.

Blistering and gorgeous, Virgin is an audacious act of imaginative self-mythology from one of our most promising young poets.

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