peluda
One of the most original performance poets of her generation, Melissa Lozada-Oliva has captivated crowds across the country and online with her vivid narratives. Humorous and biting, personal and communal, self-deprecating and unapologetically self-loving, peluda (meaning “hairy” or “hairy beast”) is the poet at her best. The book explores the relationship between femininity and body hair as well as the intersections of family, class, the immigrant experience, Latina identity, and much more, all through Lozada-Oliva’s unique lens and striking voice. peluda is a powerful testimony on body image and the triumph over taboo.

peluda Details

Titlepeluda
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 26th, 2017
PublisherButton Poetry
ISBN-139781943735242
Rating
GenrePoetry, Feminism

peluda Review

  • Nat
    January 1, 1970
    Humorous and biting, personal and communal, self-deprecating and unapologetically self-loving, peluda (meaning “hairy” or “hairy beast”) is the poet at her best. The book explores the relationship between femininity and body hair as well as the intersections of family, class, the immigrant experience, Latina identity, and much more, all through Lozada-Oliva’s unique lens and striking voice. peluda is a powerful testimony on body image and the triumph over taboo.“the loser of the war: has the bes Humorous and biting, personal and communal, self-deprecating and unapologetically self-loving, peluda (meaning “hairy” or “hairy beast”) is the poet at her best. The book explores the relationship between femininity and body hair as well as the intersections of family, class, the immigrant experience, Latina identity, and much more, all through Lozada-Oliva’s unique lens and striking voice. peluda is a powerful testimony on body image and the triumph over taboo.“the loser of the war: has the best memory.the winner: gets to forget.”What originally caught my attention with this collection was the vibrantly powerful book cover:  Then, as always, I looked the author up online to see if any memorable quotes of hers were shared. And was taken back by quite a gripping one: SourceI continued on with raised expectations that were mostly met with the occasional poem here and there in the collection. Such as: The highlighted responses made my mouth drop with surprise. An utterly strong poem from start to finish. This one poem cemented my decision to check out the first season of Jessica Jones. This collection full of creativity, feminism, love, bodies would be recommend for anyone looking to spruce up their poetry shelf.ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Expected publication: September 26th, 2017 Note: I'm an Amazon Affiliate. If you're interested in buying Peluda, just click on the image below to go through my link. I'll make a small commission! This review and more can be found on my blog.
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  • Kristy K
    January 1, 1970
    An amazing book of poetry that focuses on beauty, immigrants (and being a minority), feminism, and so much more. Lizada-Oliva has a way of writing that reaches out and pulls you into her experiences as a Latina woman living in America.
  • Hafsa
    January 1, 1970
    Disclaimer: Received a free digital copy of the book through Netgalley. I don't know how to express how I felt about my reading experience of this collection. Intimate would be the word. It was like reading the author's memoir in verse. Fierce, honest and so very personal - all things which made me absolutely love every single poem in this collection, making it a struggle not to connect with every word. There were so many intricately woven themes explored in this collection from woman and their Disclaimer: Received a free digital copy of the book through Netgalley. I don't know how to express how I felt about my reading experience of this collection. Intimate would be the word. It was like reading the author's memoir in verse. Fierce, honest and so very personal - all things which made me absolutely love every single poem in this collection, making it a struggle not to connect with every word. There were so many intricately woven themes explored in this collection from woman and their relationship with body hair, being an immigrant and the struggle of belonging, to the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship, racism, sexism and patriarchy as well as body stereotypes. The amount of diversity of themes in a mere 50 pages is definitely a feat for the author, not only because it is hard to do that but also because it is difficult for the reader to connect with all of them – something I didn’t experience while reading. I laughed, cried and experienced a plethora of other secondhand emotions wholly. Moreover, I felt that because a theme like women's relationship with body hair was explored in relation to the author's history, it made the reading experience of it much easier to relate to and just more focused. Admittedly, some poems did felt like prose shaped like poetry by the space between the verses which for a reader like me did affect my opinion. Nevertheless, I loved this collection from a poet who had a distinct voice and delivered such strong, fierce and intimate poetry along with a tad bit of much appreciated humour. Favourites: "Origin Regimen", "Ode to brown girls with bangs", "I'm sorry, I thought you were your mother", "You know how to say Aroz con Pollo but not what you are", "The women in my family are bitches", "Wolf Girl/Cam Girl/Girl Girl", "Mami says have you been crying", "Self-Portrait with historical moments", "House Call", "Yosra strings off my mustache two days after the election in a Harvard Square bathroom".
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  • Anna Kander
    January 1, 1970
    This book was not written for people like me. (The narrator is pretty emphatic about that, but I don’t want to give away delicious endings.) Still, I’m so glad I read it. Peluda means “hairy.” Mi peluda, my dark-haired girl? Or… hairy she-beast? I don’t speak Spanish, and I’m not sure how negatively or positively to construe “peluda.” The poet, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, explores negative views of herself, as a Latina with dark, thick hair (on her body as well as her head), but she’s also (re)claimin This book was not written for people like me. (The narrator is pretty emphatic about that, but I don’t want to give away delicious endings.) Still, I’m so glad I read it. Peluda means “hairy.” Mi peluda, my dark-haired girl? Or… hairy she-beast? I don’t speak Spanish, and I’m not sure how negatively or positively to construe “peluda.” The poet, Melissa Lozada-Oliva, explores negative views of herself, as a Latina with dark, thick hair (on her body as well as her head), but she’s also (re)claiming the word. The collection includes about twenty poems, a few of them straddling the line between prose poetry and micro-flash fiction. Some poems are written in second-person, letting readers see the world through the poet’s eyes. Through poems like “Origin Regimen,” Lozada-Oliva tells the story of an adolescent girl born to immigrant parents (from Guatemala and Colombia, if I remember correctly). Her Latinx parents worked first as house cleaners, then in beauty shops—styling, dyeing, and ripping out dark hairs. Peluda is a symbol for the narrator and her experience—she, a dark hair, to be ripped out. She, a source of much focus, shaping, and unfortunate disgust in a majority-white culture. There are so many layers to the metaphors Lozada-Oliva is working with. The book is just amazing. For example, in “You Use Your Hands So Much When You Talk," blue fluid is salon disinfectant is a swimming pool of disinfectant is a womb… (view spoiler)[In Lozada-Oliva’s lexicon, Peluda is dark, Latina hair, monstrous, with fur and teeth, chased by white townspeople who, for some reason, have torches, hated, powerful, wolf girl, medusa, wild, feral, forests of trees that hide a witch's cabin, growing even after we die; something to be clipped and waxed and ripped out by her mother at the salon, to shave off your sister's back preparing for prom night, to be the problem clogging your drain that you can't name... yet "when a kiss is planted on the back of the neck, / the hair follicles click back to life. / the buds shake themselves / awake. / they rise from the grave we insist on digging. / the hairs stand up. / a million ancestors / rooting / for the home team." (hide spoiler)]One of the funniest poem titles was “Maybe She's Born With It, Maybe She Got Up Early.” "AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do?" imagines Jessica Jones as a powerful, solitary Latina instead of "once again... some angry white girl.” "My Hair Stays on Your Pillow Like a Question Mark" cleverly conveys, through the punctuation and spelling in its first two lines, that it is to be read in the voice of a valley girl (think Cher/Alicia Silverstone in CLUELESS). Some of my other favorite poems were "You Know How to Say Arroz con Pollo but Not What You Are,” "What If My Last Name Got a Bikini Wax, Too,” and the amazing “Wolf Girl Suite,” where Lozada-Oliva loosely retells the plot of an old movie, WOLF GIRL BLOOD MOON. I *loved* the ending of the suite, when (view spoiler)[the poet plays with what a plot hole is. (hide spoiler)].The collection carries readers to right now, post-2016 US presidential election, with a last poem that highlights (view spoiler)[ common threads in the experiences of Latina and Muslim women in America. (hide spoiler)]Bonus quotes from PELUDA, by Melissa Lozada-Oliva…(view spoiler)["this has always been about mothers / & the spaces they cut themselves into.""the girl who is always fixing, snipping away / at the bits of herself that are always becoming" "i am latina / or i just like being watched by men / or i just like leaving marks on their shirts" "THE FOREST ONCE COVERED HER BODY LIKE SOMETHING TO BURN DOWN OR FIND A WITCH'S HOUSE IN SO SHE RUNS INTO IT…”"remember your body / the body—a land of feelings we've been told to cut down / we rip the things we hate / about ourselves out & hope / they grow back weaker....""my first tattoo: abuelita as medusa, / with pearls & snakes for hair." (hide spoiler)]
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  • Olivia Chanel's Galaxy of Books
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you, Button Poetry, for my ARC of peluda. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.I have fallen in love with the poetry collection peluda and for me, what makes peluda such a unique poetry collection is how brutally honest and charismatic it is. It’s funny, deep, and a must-read for contemporary poetry lovers. peluda is feminist and about body hair, fa Thank you, Button Poetry, for my ARC of peluda. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review; this does not affect my opinion. Any quotes mentioned below are taken from the ARC and are subject to change upon publication.I have fallen in love with the poetry collection peluda and for me, what makes peluda such a unique poetry collection is how brutally honest and charismatic it is. It’s funny, deep, and a must-read for contemporary poetry lovers. peluda is feminist and about body hair, family, friendship, Latina identity, and the immigrant experience. I believe poetry collections about, and written by, women of color should be celebrated, and this collection is no exception.jessica jones is so dark-haired she must be Latinai pretend she is so that i amnot once again rooting for some angry white girlso i tell myself thatall of this throwing a heater out of the windowmust be chingonaall of this rude lonely girl must be brujaall of this breaking & entering & you shoot at me,i’ll pull the bullet out of my ruined jacket &shove it up your ass with my pinky fingermust be mujeristaI love how Melissa Lozada-Oliva puts everything on the page and it just speaks to you. The writing in peluda is magnificent and I love the vivid imagery in Lozada-Oliva’s poems. The rhythm and overall way she portrays her experiences, it’s just my favorite. Furthermore, I also love how this book is not afraid to shy away from the speaking its truth, no matter what that is. My favorite poems in this collection are 1) Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe She Got Up Early 2) Ode To Brown Girls With Bangs 3) AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do? 4) The Women In My Family Are Bitches 5) I Shave My Sister’s Back Before Prom and 6) We Play Would You Rather at the Galentine’s Party.on our own til infinity! bitchesthe vengeful violentpissed prissed and polishedlipstick stained on an envelopei’ll be damned if i’m compliant! bitchesIf you love contemporary poetry then you need to read peluda. It will speak to your heart and take you on a journey few other poetry collections will. This book celebrates Latina women and their experiences, it touches on what body hair and our relationship to it is and how it looks so differently for different people. This book is feminist, badass, and beautiful. I’m deeply in love with peluda and I know you won’t regret putting it in your shopping cart. It’s a must-read for all poetry lovers.This review is set to be published September 26, 2017, on my book blog Olivia Chanel's Galaxy of Books.
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  • Kirsty
    January 1, 1970
    "if you ask me if i am fluent in Spanish i will tell you my Spanish is an itchy / phantom limb - reaching for words & only finding air""did you know: that after we dieour hair still grows?picture: a field of skulls with rock & roll mulletspicture: pubes over bonespicture: a blanket of hair tucking us in, forever."
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  • Adriana Martinez Figueroa
    January 1, 1970
    Rather short, I would've liked some more poetry to dig my brown hands into. And yet, this handful was colored gold and was heavy in my heart with meaning and latina love. Gracias, Melissa 💕
  • Jessica | Booked J
    January 1, 1970
    As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.Wow, 2017 has been a stellar year for poetry and I can't stress enough how much I loved Melissa Lozada-Oliva's peluda without bordering on incoherent fangirling. Because there's something so deeply moving in her words and one thing is certain: she is a voice that was desperately needed in poetry. And her prose is something of magic, humor As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via NetGalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.Wow, 2017 has been a stellar year for poetry and I can't stress enough how much I loved Melissa Lozada-Oliva's peluda without bordering on incoherent fangirling. Because there's something so deeply moving in her words and one thing is certain: she is a voice that was desperately needed in poetry. And her prose is something of magic, humor and complexity. peluda is one of the best releases this year (one of those rare 5 stars) and something I feel incredibly honored to have experienced. If you're dubious about the page count, and how short it is, know this: she packs a serious punch. A. Serious. Punch. Seriously, I'm still kind of staggering back a bit from being knocked out like this. Lozada-Oliva, do it again. Thanks. Following up fantastic releases like Depression & Other Magic Tricks, The Chaos of Longing, Smoke & Mirrors, Stuff I've Been Feeling Lately, I Am More Than a Daydream and The Princess Saves Herself in this One, PELUDA makes its mark as something new when it comes to what makes young poets prolific these days. Her journey is just as intimate as you'd expect but there's something undeniably necessary to her story and what it means for diversity in literature. What it means for people who often have no voice or are muffled out by their counterparts. Young readers, young poets, are going to pick up this release and find themselves in Melissa like they may not in other poets. Further, it gives us that honesty that is so desperately lacking and really, really compels readers. If you have 50 pages of work to show us, chances are it's going to be lackluster or sensational. Thank-fully, this is sensational. What I loved most about her prose is that it's got everything in it--a raw intensity that makes poetry so captivating, the complexities of who she is, a specific sort of humor and it's all woven so intelligently that you can't help but to feel like what you've read was truly something special.And it is. Overall, PELUDA is one of my favourite releases in poetry this year and it would be a tragedy not to pick it up. I can't wait to hear more from Melissa Lozada-Oliva and am eagerly keeping my eyes on her in the least creepy way possible.
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  • Laly
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. I cannot fully express how grateful I am that Button Poetry allowed me to read the ARC for this book, this kindness does not in any way influence the way I feel and will talk about Peluda and the visceral experience I had while reading it.To understand how I felt about reading this book you need to think about it as stumbling upon someone's journal, and as you read along you identify in this stran I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. I cannot fully express how grateful I am that Button Poetry allowed me to read the ARC for this book, this kindness does not in any way influence the way I feel and will talk about Peluda and the visceral experience I had while reading it.To understand how I felt about reading this book you need to think about it as stumbling upon someone's journal, and as you read along you identify in this stranger's words feelings and thoughts so achingly familiar you wonder how you were never able to put it into words. I did not live Melissa Lozada-Oliva's life. I don't know her, and most of the things she talks about have never happened to me, or do not affect me as a Chilean woman, but that doesn't mean I haven't felt the way she has felt. It doesn't mean that the words in "Ode to Brown Girls with Bangs" don't push me into tears thinking 'yes, yes. This is exactly it'.There is a certain touch of intimacy coming from every single one of her words. She is not sharing a universal story, a "one size fits all" (which is always a lie), but her personal flare makes her words feel even more "cercanas", familiar and something, I believe, many people will relate to.In Peluda, Lozada-Oliva talks about gender role, stereotypes, bodies, abuse, assault, and identity sin tapujos. She tells things just the way they are, no embellishments, no apologies. In "Mami Says Have You Been Crying" Lozada-Oliva writes "remember your body / the body-- a land of feelings we've been told to cut down / we rip the things we hate / about ourselves out & hope / they grow back weaker / but hair is the only thing that grows / the way things grow in the homeland / which is why we get goosebumps when we hear Spanish at the supermarket or when a dead friend's sweater hugs us in a dream or when a kiss is planted on the back of the neck. the hair follicles click back to life." which sounds like the condensation of every word and poem and feeling in this beautiful, familiar book because we are peludas. Our hair is thick and dark, and the more and more you shave it, wax it, curse it into submission the more it comes back like a memory, like a sign. You can never fully change who you are and where you are from, and this experience might not be the same for you, it might not be the same for me, but we are united by this common thread that runs from my mother to your grandmother, and each one of our fathers, we are memories becoming history.I 100% recommend this book to anyone who loves intimate tales, and poetry. Button Poetry writers never disappoint. They always have very distinctive voices and styles that manage to set them apart from a sea of voices, oftentimes chanting a similar story. I don't know how much will change from the ARC to the final copy of this book, but from what I've seen, it can only get better.
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  • Carina
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Unlike many of the people who have read this, I didn't know anything about the author. This book is a poetry collection but it felt a little bit weird for me. It seemed like Melissa wrote it like a novel and then cut it to be a poem. However I did feel a connection with it and I enjoyed it overall. With that being said I don't know if I can give it 4 stars or more. The form was just weird for me.
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  • Krystal
    January 1, 1970
    Exceptional poetry collection! Her writing illuminates the immigrant experience with depths of emotion. She evokes the trauma of colonialist white supremacist xenophobic misogyny!
  • Bianca
    January 1, 1970
    Hey, there. It's been almost 2 months since I finished reading something and I don't really remember how to do this, so bare with me.Thanks to NetGalley for letting me have a digital copy of this beautiful little book in exchange of an honest review. This will be the first of many.I got to read this book by chance. I was browsing my newsfeed on Facebook one day some months ago, and this friend shared a video of a girl reciting poetry. It was powerful. The poem that the girl read was titled 'My S Hey, there. It's been almost 2 months since I finished reading something and I don't really remember how to do this, so bare with me.Thanks to NetGalley for letting me have a digital copy of this beautiful little book in exchange of an honest review. This will be the first of many.I got to read this book by chance. I was browsing my newsfeed on Facebook one day some months ago, and this friend shared a video of a girl reciting poetry. It was powerful. The poem that the girl read was titled 'My Spanish' according to the video's title, but now I know that it is actually called 'You Know How to Say Arroz con Pollo But Not What You Are.' For some reason that video, that girl and that poem stuck with me.Some time later, I logged into NetGalley after many months and started browsing the poetry section in particular and voila, there was Peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva in the Read Now tab (this is actually my first read from NetGalley and I haven't had any request approved so far, so having it in the Read Now tab felt like a blessing). I automatically knew that this was the book of the same girl of the video. I don't remember if it was mentioned somewhere in the video, but I just knew.I read it in just an hour, and that's because I purposely read it slowly so that I could take it all in. I have to admit that I was impressed by how many feelings I felt while reading these poems. I didn't expect to like them so much. Many of them are about body hair, hence the title Peluda ('hairy' in Spanish), and how women go through life waxing their hairs to please society, but particularly how it affected the author, obvioulsy, since she says to be quite hairy and, on top of that, she belongs to a family of beauticians that always told her that beauty is pain and she should just put up with it. She's also latina, and she makes sure to show that part of her in her poetry. I truly believe her poems are outstanding, and it makes me think of all the people obsessed with Rupi Kaur's books when here we have much deeper and meaningful art. I do like Rupi Kaur, but her style is very simplistic and sometimes less is not more, sometimes we need to ink all our thoughts on paper and just let it all out. I felt passion in these poems. And that's the best kind of poetry that I can think of.
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  • Purely Nana
    January 1, 1970
    Ridiculous book.I literally gave it 1 star for that one little verse:"maybe my heart is 2 big"now, obviously, I'm not a Latina nor an immigrant, two things that this book tackles. The thing is, I would have loved to discover things about those two "themes" instead of reading about "body hair" and how grossed out the author is. As far as I know, the title means "hairy beast" I didn't know that when I read the first few pages and I thought how original it was to talk about pubes, waxing and being Ridiculous book.I literally gave it 1 star for that one little verse:"maybe my heart is 2 big"now, obviously, I'm not a Latina nor an immigrant, two things that this book tackles. The thing is, I would have loved to discover things about those two "themes" instead of reading about "body hair" and how grossed out the author is. As far as I know, the title means "hairy beast" I didn't know that when I read the first few pages and I thought how original it was to talk about pubes, waxing and being a hairy person in general. Then it was the same idea over and over, a girl who's insecure because of her body hair, a girl who's waxing and is in pain, a hairless boy in love with a hairy girl, thick eyebrows, tweezers.. I mean WHY IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL
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  • Stephanie
    January 1, 1970
    On the wall about this one, didn't love it but didn't hate it either.
  • Abby
    January 1, 1970
    I appreciated the message, and enjoyed the perspective - but really did not like the style of writing.
  • Camila
    January 1, 1970
    I don't read a lot of poetry, but I knew I had to get this one. I've loved watching videos of Melissa Lozada-Oliva's spoken word performances on YouTube, finally feeling represented by her words and stories. Melissa has a way with mixing humour and emotion, so that I didn't know whether I wanted to laugh or cry at her words. Peluda explores so many topics in its 21 poems. In a single poem, you'll find explorations of Latina identity, beauty and femininity, class and family relationships, all see I don't read a lot of poetry, but I knew I had to get this one. I've loved watching videos of Melissa Lozada-Oliva's spoken word performances on YouTube, finally feeling represented by her words and stories. Melissa has a way with mixing humour and emotion, so that I didn't know whether I wanted to laugh or cry at her words. Peluda explores so many topics in its 21 poems. In a single poem, you'll find explorations of Latina identity, beauty and femininity, class and family relationships, all seen through the lens of the immigrant experience. I cannot recommend this collection enough. The poems are beautiful and fun to read, filled with humour and emotion. I can't wait for my own copy to arrive in the mail so that I can show this to everyone who will listen!Full review to be posted on my blog!
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  • hamna
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars I really, really liked this book. It explores the relationship between a woman and her body hair, the insecurities and the confidence, the relationship between being an immigrant and belonging, the relationship between a mother and her daughter, the relationship between love and being lost. It's beautiful, it's tiring, it's striking and it's poetry in it's honest form. Commun Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 3.5 stars I really, really liked this book. It explores the relationship between a woman and her body hair, the insecurities and the confidence, the relationship between being an immigrant and belonging, the relationship between a mother and her daughter, the relationship between love and being lost. It's beautiful, it's tiring, it's striking and it's poetry in it's honest form. Communicate. Scream. Be cranky. Be a bitch. Wolf girl. Cam girl. Girl girl. I would probably, honestly, truly recommend this book to maybe, perhaps everyone I know. It's amazing. Pop.
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  • Tiana
    January 1, 1970
    This poetry book is SO GOOD! The whole thing was this unapologetic look at what it means to be a first generation American and living in a world where cultures combine and touch your life to where your parts become nothing else, but human. However, Peluda is so much more then that. It is about being comfortable in your own skin and not being ashamed of who you are, even letting out your inner werewolf and being unafraid of being feral every once in a while.There was one single poem that made thi This poetry book is SO GOOD! The whole thing was this unapologetic look at what it means to be a first generation American and living in a world where cultures combine and touch your life to where your parts become nothing else, but human. However, Peluda is so much more then that. It is about being comfortable in your own skin and not being ashamed of who you are, even letting out your inner werewolf and being unafraid of being feral every once in a while.There was one single poem that made this poetry book so much more to me and that poem was “You Know how to say Arroz Con Pollo but Not What You Are”. I finished this poem and I cried. I cried because even though her situation is the complete opposite of my own it felt like she got it.. got me. It was everything I had ever wanted to say, but in different words.As it was World Poetry Day today I will share this poem with you all in full.You Know how to say Arroz Con Pollo but Not What You AreIf you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish I will tell youMy Spanish is an itchy phantom limb: reaching for a word and only finding airMy Spanish is my third birthday party: half of it is memory, and the other half is a photograph on the fridge is what my family has told meIf you ask me if I am fluent I I will tell you thatMy Spanish is a puzzle left in the rainToo soggy to make its parts fit so that it can look just like the picture on the box.I will tell you thatMy Spanish is possessive adjectives.It is proper nouns dressed in pearls and bracelets.It is are you up yet. It is there is a lot to do todayMy Spanish is on my resume as a skill.My Spanish is on his favorite shirt in red mouth marksIf you ask me I will tell youMy Spanish is hungrier than it was before.My Spanish reaches for words at the top of a shelf without a stepping stoolis hit in the head with all of the old words that have been hiding up thereMy Spanish wonders how bad is it to eat something that’s expiredMy Spanish wonders if it has an expiration dateIf you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish I will tell you thatMy Spanish is the smell of Windex, the tearing of paper towels, the flushing of toilets, the splash of a mopMy Spanish bites on a pencil in the corner of a classroom and does not raise its handMy Spanish cancelled plans with you so that it could watch moviesMy Spanish is my older sister’s sore smile at her only beauty pageantMy Spanish is a made up story about a parent who never came homeMy Spanish is a made up story about a parent who never came home and traveled to beautiful places and sent me post cards from all of themMy Spanish is me, tracing my fingers along every letter they were able to fit inMy Spanish is the real story of my parent’s divorceChaotic, broken and something I have to choose to remember correctlyMy Spanish is wondering when my parents will be Americanasking me if I’m white yetIf you ask me if I am fluent in Spanish I will try to tell you the storyof how my parents met in an ESL classHow it was when they trained their mouths to sayI love you in a different language, I hate you with their mouths shutI will tell you how my father’s accent makes him sound like Zorohow my mother tried to tie her tongue to a post with an English language leashI will tell you that the tongue always ran stubbornly back to the language it had always been in love withEven when she tried to tame itit always turned looseIf you ask me if I am in fluentI will tell youMy Spanish is understanding that there are stories that will always be out of my reachthere are people who will never fit together the way that I want them tothere are some letters that will always stay silentthere are some words that will always escape me.This poem is gorgeous, emotional, and full of so much raw truth. I know it is not one that would make most people cry, but for me after I first read it I was an emotional mess. I am someone who was born only being seen as a typical white girl to outsiders. However, I was adopted and raised into a Spanish family. I grew up in a way not connecting to any specific culture and so I don’t really feel like anything but a human being (I don’t really believe I can claim any specific culture or that I should claim one). However, I grew up hearing Spanish around the house and listening to mariachi music at fairs and eating tamales, pupusas, and huevos con chorizo. More then anything else I learned how to speak Spanish in the way of food, but I never became fluent and can understand far more then I could ever say. But for me it was the end of this poem that really got to me. There will always be words I don’t understand and so many stories that I will never hear and it felt like a great loss to me and the tears came. This poem was beautiful and in so many ways it broke my heart.All of the poems in Peluda are filled with power. This is one of my favorite poetry books I have ever read and I hope that so many others find the beauty in it that I did.
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  • Kelly
    January 1, 1970
    poems that bristle and bite(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)mami does not understand why you like holesin your shoes, in your tights, in your gloves.what did you want to seep through, brown girlwith bangs? a song not written about you?really, you were being a seamstressjust like your abuela in the living room makingskirts out of curtains, just making adjustments, just making holes in places your new skinwas supposed to be.("Ode to Brown Girls With poems that bristle and bite(Full disclosure: I received a free electronic ARC for review through NetGalley.)mami does not understand why you like holesin your shoes, in your tights, in your gloves.what did you want to seep through, brown girlwith bangs? a song not written about you?really, you were being a seamstressjust like your abuela in the living room makingskirts out of curtains, just making adjustments, just making holes in places your new skinwas supposed to be.("Ode to Brown Girls With Bangs")i don't know if i feel in lovefeel beautifulor just feelmaybe we all need some rest("Self-Portrait With Historical Moments")I was so excited about this book that I did something I rarely do - namely, brave Adobe Digital Editions to read an ARC. (It is forever crashing my machine, okay.) Lately I've been digging poetry more and more and, between the book's stunning cover and the rave early reviews, I just knew I'd love peluda. And I did! I mean, I do!Growing up, I always felt weird and awkward and hairy - hairier than most of the other girls around me, anyway, the popular ones in particular. Okay, so maybe I'm one of the white girls Lozada-Oliva writes about in "Yosra Strings Off My Mustache Two Days After the Election in a Harvard Square Bathroom" -the ones who don't shavefor political reasons, the ones who tookan entire election cycle to growout a tuft of armpit hair- which is to say my Italian-German self is only "hairy" when held up to modern beauty standards, e.g., not terribly hairy at all. Maybe I can't really relate. Even so. I adored all of the twenty-one poems that make up peluda just the same. Over on her Facebook page, Lozada-Oliva describes peluda as "my yellow chapbook about my hairy latina feels," which seems as apt a description as any. Lozada-Oliva tackles such weighty topics as beauty, assimilation, racist microaggressions, sex, shame, depression/metal health stigma, alienation, George Zimmerman, and, yes, body hair: clumps and heads and volumes and rivers of hair. Melissa's Guatemalan immigrant mother Josefina was/is a beautician, so her schooling started early. Her words radiate with ferocity and hunger and wit that doesn't cut so much as claw and devour. There's so much to love here, but one piece really stands out: "Wolf Girl Suite," which is really a story told in five acts. With all the elements of a feminist horror flick, I am aching to see this one adapted for the screen. Coming to a theater near you, Halloween 2021?"Ode to Brown Girls With Bangs," "You Use Your Hands So Much When You Talk," "You Know How to Say Arroz con Polla but Not What You Are," "What If My Last Name Got a Bikini Wax, Too," and "We Play Would You Rather at the Galentine's Day Party" are other favorites too. But they're all pretty great. fyi, there are a number of videos of Melissa Lozada-Oliva's spoken word poetry up on YouTube, and it's even more powerful in person. Lozada-Oliva's delivery is sometimes surprisingly funny, with a dark sense of humor that isn't always - plainly? - evident in written form (at least not to me, anyhow). Here are just two that grabbed me by the amygdala and refuse to let go.https://youtu.be/me4_QwmaNoQhttps://youtu.be/x-Y9zgOSUnk Table of ContentsOrigin RegimenMaybe She's Born With It, Maybe She Got Up EarlyOde to Brown Girls With BangsLip / Stain / Must / AcheI'm Sorry, I Thought You Were Your MotherYou Use Your Hands So Much When You TalkAKA What Would Jessica Jones Do?You Know How to Say Arroz con Polla but Not What You AreMy Hair Stays on Your Pillow Like a Question MarkWhat If My Last Name Got a Bikini Wax, TooThe Women in My Family Are BitchesI Shave My Sister's Back Before PromWe Play Would You Rather at the Galentine's Day PartyWolf Girl SuiteIt's Funny the Things That Stick With YouMami Says Have You Been CryingSelf-Portrait With Historical MomentsLight Brown NoiseI'm So ReadyHouse CallYosra Strings Off My Mustache Two Days After the Election in a Harvard Square Bathroomhttp://www.easyvegan.info/2017/11/03/...
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  • Mel González
    January 1, 1970
    "Remember your body / the body-a land of feelings we've been told to cut down / we rip the things we hate / about ourselves out & hope / they grow back weaker / but hair is the only thing that grows / the way things grow in the homeland / which is why we get goosebumps" *ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review*This was incredibly important and thought provoking. I absolutely adore Melissa Lozada-Oliva's use of language and the innovative and creative metaphors "Remember your body / the body-a land of feelings we've been told to cut down / we rip the things we hate / about ourselves out & hope / they grow back weaker / but hair is the only thing that grows / the way things grow in the homeland / which is why we get goosebumps" *ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley for an honest review*This was incredibly important and thought provoking. I absolutely adore Melissa Lozada-Oliva's use of language and the innovative and creative metaphors she uses because even though this is a very important conversation on body hair, the meaning behind it was super deep and significant. It is brutally honest and a super accurate depiction on a lot of very latinx experiences and I could relate to so many of them especially with the conversations about family and body hair being latina myself but there were so many things that I don't experience especially relating to skin colour and I thought it was important for me to read this. This is an extremely feminist text that's beautifully told and that explores topics like body hair (obviously) and its relation to femininity, family, friendships, relationships, immigrant experience and topics that are heartbreaking and painful. Melissa Lozada-Oliva doesn't hold back when she's writing. She puts all her feelings on page and you can feel it when you read her poems. She doesn't sugarcoat the problems and the topics that she discusses. She is truly unapologetic. The writing is wonderful and it matched perfectly the sentiments that she was conveying. If you want to know a personal experience but also something that a lot of people can relate to, this is the perfect book for you. It's raw, badass and brilliant. It celebrates Latina women and the latinx culture that's very close to my heart. Also, if you love poetry, this is a must read. I've been a huge fan of her poems through the years so I'm leaving some of her poems here in case you want to check them out:Like Totally Whatever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me4_Q...Bitches: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwoRx...My Spanish: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE-c4...
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  • L.A.
    January 1, 1970
    Brown girl with the string.Or the razor, wax, or other implement of hair removal. Lozada-Oliva's collection of poems reveals the complicated feelings and experiences of femme Latinx bodies, which are often peluda, a word that can be translated as "hairy" or "hairy beast." This mutability of language mirrors the speaker's ambiguity about her own body and its needs.There are no other ambiguities in play, here. In fact, the language is as sharp as tacks, smacks to the face, swift kicks in the "don' Brown girl with the string.Or the razor, wax, or other implement of hair removal. Lozada-Oliva's collection of poems reveals the complicated feelings and experiences of femme Latinx bodies, which are often peluda, a word that can be translated as "hairy" or "hairy beast." This mutability of language mirrors the speaker's ambiguity about her own body and its needs.There are no other ambiguities in play, here. In fact, the language is as sharp as tacks, smacks to the face, swift kicks in the "don't let the door hit you in the" ass (on the way out. ) Some of the pieces look very different on the page than they sound when recited, which is why you will want to experience both, so you get the full effect; examples of this include "You Know How to Say Arroz Con Pollo But Not What You Are" and "The Women in My Family Are Bitches" (if you have never seen the latter, stop reading this, go watch it, and come back. I'll wait). Other standouts include "AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do?," "We Play Would You Rather at the Galentine's Day Party," and "Yosra Strings Off My Mustache Two Days After the Election in a Harvard Square Bathroom."If you serve a Latinx community, you will definitely want to have it on hand. You may even want to shelve it in your teen collection, as it may prove helpful to a lot of girls trying to make sense of their own experiences. Because of Lozada-Oliva's internet popularity, you will also want to have this in any substantial poetry collection and/or urban library with a pop-culture savvy clientele. It's an optional purchase everywhere else, not because it's not good. It's freaking amazing. It's just that it would be wasted on other audiences, which might mock things they could never understand. Highly recommended in the correct circumstances.
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  • Erin Clements
    January 1, 1970
    After having loved Button Poetry and Melissa Lozada-Oliva for what feels like forever, and constantly having her slam poem performances on repeat, I couldn't wait to read peluda. Reading it was everything I wanted and more, down to hearing Lozada-Oliva's voice -- and her "character" voices -- in my head for every poem, even ones I've never heard her speak. The book of course featured my favorite poem, "The Women in My Family Are Bitches," along with brand new favorities "AKA What Would Jessica J After having loved Button Poetry and Melissa Lozada-Oliva for what feels like forever, and constantly having her slam poem performances on repeat, I couldn't wait to read peluda. Reading it was everything I wanted and more, down to hearing Lozada-Oliva's voice -- and her "character" voices -- in my head for every poem, even ones I've never heard her speak. The book of course featured my favorite poem, "The Women in My Family Are Bitches," along with brand new favorities "AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do?" and "Light Brown Noise," but every single poem by Melissa tells a story -- and an important story, at that. The story of brown girls. The entire book was hauntingly beautiful, down to the last words of "Yosra Strings Off My Mustache Two Days After the Election in a Harvard Square bathroom," down to the last words on the last page, "we are not done yet." Even the acknowledgements got me, the one to fellow Button Poetry poet Olivia Gatwood in particular: "for helping me celebrate my messy self." I loved this book with every ounce of my being, and it's something every person who considers themselves a feminist -- and every person who doesn't consider themselves one -- should read. After all, we are not done becoming and appreciating our messy selves yet.
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  • M
    January 1, 1970
    "& i think of what the mostguatemalan-colombian thing i've ever doneis & maybe it's grow. i think about the most americanthing we've ever done & it's hide in this bathroom.i think about the most womanly thingwe've ever done & it's live anyway.this isn't opression. this is, i got you.i believe you. it hurts but what else are we going to doit aches but we have no other choice do we."In this collection, Melissa Lozada-Oliva shares about her experience as a brown Latina living in a w "& i think of what the mostguatemalan-colombian thing i've ever doneis & maybe it's grow. i think about the most americanthing we've ever done & it's hide in this bathroom.i think about the most womanly thingwe've ever done & it's live anyway.this isn't opression. this is, i got you.i believe you. it hurts but what else are we going to doit aches but we have no other choice do we."In this collection, Melissa Lozada-Oliva shares about her experience as a brown Latina living in a white world and many subjects related to her womanhood.This is my first contact with this author's writing and it was such a nice introduction!! I love every poem in this book. It's hard to choose just a few to mention here, but some that stood out: AKA what would Jessica Jones Do?, The Women in My Family Are Bitches and My Hair Stays on Your Pillow Like a Question Mark. Her words are so intense and meaningful it was like I could listen to her voice declaiming them for me. And I think, one of my favorite things about poetry is when I feel so inspired by someone else's writing that I want to write my own the minute I close their books.Honestly, I can't wait to read more of her work now!
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  • Bree
    January 1, 1970
    One of the things I love most about poetry is the way it lets you see dive into someone’s brain. It’s truly I think one of the most raw and open types of writing. Melissa’s book was no exception. She really laid it all out there for us. Every part of her. The messy, the uncomfortable, and even the “socially not talked about.” It really made this book special. We were really able to step into her shoes. Now although I’m sure a lot of people read the back of the book and hear what it’s about and g One of the things I love most about poetry is the way it lets you see dive into someone’s brain. It’s truly I think one of the most raw and open types of writing. Melissa’s book was no exception. She really laid it all out there for us. Every part of her. The messy, the uncomfortable, and even the “socially not talked about.” It really made this book special. We were really able to step into her shoes. Now although I’m sure a lot of people read the back of the book and hear what it’s about and get turned off. Most likely because they don’t find it relatable right off the bat. Probably because they scare easy to all things “women” or because the don’t think they can relate to another culture that isn’t theirs. I would encourage them to take a chance and see the world a new way. You might just learn something. I loved this book. I loved the way it felt like I was seeing things I way I hadn’t before, but also finding those moments were I was like “amen.” I know exactly what she’s saying. That’s the way a book should feel. It should make the world feel a little bit smaller. Reminding us aren’t all that different from each other. This is really a special collection of work.Oh and of course the cover is absolutely stunning.
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  • Bejaka Phoenix
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book on NetGalley for an honest review. Melissa Lozada-Oliva's Peluda plays with the stereotypical ideals of femininity by juxtaposing the typical with the atypical of the feminine voice and body image. The title, itself, reveals one of the more important motifs in her poetrybook. In a show of self-love, Lozada-Oliva often references with an air of indifference how 'peluda', (meaning "hairy" in Spanish) her body is; yet, her indifference is also marked with a tinge of acceptance. I received this book on NetGalley for an honest review. Melissa Lozada-Oliva's Peluda plays with the stereotypical ideals of femininity by juxtaposing the typical with the atypical of the feminine voice and body image. The title, itself, reveals one of the more important motifs in her poetrybook. In a show of self-love, Lozada-Oliva often references with an air of indifference how 'peluda', (meaning "hairy" in Spanish) her body is; yet, her indifference is also marked with a tinge of acceptance. Another recurring theme is the Latina immigrant experience. Once satirized negatively, Lozada-Oliva attempts to cast light on these hardworking individuals whose rights in America have usually been non-existent. From stories of her parents, to even her own stories as a strong-minded, self-loving, unapologetic Latina "mami", Lozada-Oliva definitely hasmade her imprint as a Latina feminist whose lexical voice will hopefully inspire others to do the same or give a voice to those who cannot.
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  • Justin Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    **Disclaimer: I won a copy of this through the publisher, button poetry, through a GR Giveaway! Thanks to all!**This was a quick read, but Lozada-Oliva manages to pack many of her lines of poetry with some amazingly powerful words and word combos. Her bio mentions work in the slam poetry realm and I can definitely pick up those vibes throughout this work. Great examinations of cultural and gender identity without being overt or too heavy. Beautiful work, give it a look, I'll keep this copy in my **Disclaimer: I won a copy of this through the publisher, button poetry, through a GR Giveaway! Thanks to all!**This was a quick read, but Lozada-Oliva manages to pack many of her lines of poetry with some amazingly powerful words and word combos. Her bio mentions work in the slam poetry realm and I can definitely pick up those vibes throughout this work. Great examinations of cultural and gender identity without being overt or too heavy. Beautiful work, give it a look, I'll keep this copy in my classroom library.
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  • Sam
    January 1, 1970
    This BOOK, AGH. I recently came across Melissa's poems on youtube and when I saw this poem, I knew I had to hear more from her. And her book is named "Peluda"! We have that word in Portuguese too, and it has also followed me like a shadow my whole life. "YES!" and "MMHMM" and *tear* is how I felt reading these poems, as I understood what it's like to be "peluda" and what it's like to be the daughter of immigrants, and what it's like to feel like who are you and what you've done will never be goo This BOOK, AGH. I recently came across Melissa's poems on youtube and when I saw this poem, I knew I had to hear more from her. And her book is named "Peluda"! We have that word in Portuguese too, and it has also followed me like a shadow my whole life. "YES!" and "MMHMM" and *tear* is how I felt reading these poems, as I understood what it's like to be "peluda" and what it's like to be the daughter of immigrants, and what it's like to feel like who are you and what you've done will never be good enough for them, will never match the sacrifices that they made for you. Fuck, I'm starting to cry as I write this. Anyway, I'm so happy these poems exist, ok bye.[exits with feelings]
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  • Mia
    January 1, 1970
    I'm so glad I discovered Melissa through her spoken word, because I didn't know how much I needed her. From topics of body hair, to how people treat your spanish, to all the expectations of being the daughter of an immigrant, to how people treat a young Latin woman's body in public spaces and more-- I read these out loud to myself when I need to remember that I am allowed to be frustrated, to be "vengeful and violent", to be confused, to want what I don't think I should, and most importantly, I I'm so glad I discovered Melissa through her spoken word, because I didn't know how much I needed her. From topics of body hair, to how people treat your spanish, to all the expectations of being the daughter of an immigrant, to how people treat a young Latin woman's body in public spaces and more-- I read these out loud to myself when I need to remember that I am allowed to be frustrated, to be "vengeful and violent", to be confused, to want what I don't think I should, and most importantly, I am allowed to not be anyone's idea of what I should be. Thank you hermana. You make me and all of the peludas that came before us proud.
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  • Beth
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC, provided by the author and/or the publisher in exchange for an honest review.This poetry collection is FANTASTIC - truths about the impossibility of trying to contort yourself into the societal ideal; of the battle between wanting to accept the things that make you who you are, and wanting to erase all traces of them in order to fit in; of the complex struggles of femininity, of culture, of history - all delivered with beautiful honesty and biting wit.
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  • Mike
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes triumphant, it's about femininity and body image and Latina identity and family and a bunch of other stuff. Highly recommended.
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