Body of Render
Body of Render explores the internal and external impacts on our humanity when political, national, and societal decisions strip away our basic human rights. What does it mean to be an underrepresented individual in a country where the most powerful seat in the land unashamedly perpetuates racist, misogynistic, homophobic, and classist behaviors? The voices document a journey before and after the last presidential election. These poems cry out for reconsideration of our broken systems to find common and safe ground rooted in equitable treatment of each other as human beings. How do we exude love when being a person of color or underrepresented person in this country means the dominate white-male-able-bodied-heterosexual narrative continues to threaten our voices? This collection carves at the physical, the political, the intimate, and the structural with poems that simultaneously create and encourage voice to seek a path toward collective mending.

Body of Render Details

TitleBody of Render
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 21st, 2020
PublisherRed Hen Press
ISBN-139781597099752
Rating
GenrePoetry

Body of Render Review

  • Colin
    January 1, 1970
    Zamora often asks her readers to speak--the imperative form of "say" recurs throughout the book, and I'm struck by the two ways we might read that. First, it's the search for the right word, for how Zamora can express herself in a world that, especially with the election of Trump, seems to disregard her at best and work for her erasure/destruction at worst. But it's also an invitation to the reader, to speak up, to engage in their own search for the right things to do and say, and that's Zamora often asks her readers to speak--the imperative form of "say" recurs throughout the book, and I'm struck by the two ways we might read that. First, it's the search for the right word, for how Zamora can express herself in a world that, especially with the election of Trump, seems to disregard her at best and work for her erasure/destruction at worst. But it's also an invitation to the reader, to speak up, to engage in their own search for the right things to do and say, and that's ultimately what makes this such a powerful volume of poetry. Zamora's a poet of connection--the ampersand is her favorite punctuation mark--and the ongoing search for those moments of connection, whether between questions and answers of identity or the individual and the infinite universe, mark the center of this book. It's so good, and worth reading now so that you can be the friend who tells your friends about Zamora first.
    more
  • Jose Hernandez Diaz
    January 1, 1970
    This is one of the best books I've ever read. Zamora is a once in a generation voice. I don't understand how anyone can give this book 3 stars or lower. That's just silly.
  • Marian P
    January 1, 1970
    Body of Render is a searing collection of poems by Felicia Zamora. It is a moving collection covering a range of topics from love, politics, identity, addiction, the universe, and so much more. On one level, the poem is a collection of iterations or renderings of the trajectory of the election of Donald Trump, as this is one of the major themes of the book. But on another level, poems deal with the reckoning of life itselflove, body, constellations, universe, identity, all combusting together. Body of Render is a searing collection of poems by Felicia Zamora. It is a moving collection covering a range of topics from love, politics, identity, addiction, the universe, and so much more. On one level, the poem is a collection of iterations or renderings of the trajectory of the election of Donald Trump, as this is one of the major themes of the book. But on another level, poems deal with the reckoning of life itself—love, body, constellations, universe, identity, all combusting together. The book is broken into four sections: At the Hand of Other, Raw Deliberations of Circumstances, No Apologies to America Anymore, and Infinite Design of a Mouth, Open. Each section centers largely on one main theme with Hand of Other so-named for the poem of the same name, though predominantly focusing on the election of Trump. The poem “At the hand of other” captures the feelings and desire when wading in the waters of a new relationship. As you course ahead “at the hand of other,” you simultaneously experience both anticipation and anxiety “we all nerves in gather.” This is an illuminating poem about the love and desire. Much of the rest of this section pivoted on the election of Trump. One of my favorite poem in this election narrative is “In the name of freedom (an election thought).” Not only does this poem examine the fallout of the election pitting a supremely qualified candidate (Clinton) and a “sexual predator, say a joke’s sad fruition,” but it also interrogates social media. In this, Zamora is shrewd and insightful writing “how social media invents: a therapy gap to consider less & speak more;” The poem concludes on a somber note of the eventuality of the election results.The poems in the second section titled Raw Deliberation of Circumstances expand on the theme of identity, or the “circumstances” within which one identifies. The poem “The retreat” reflects on a retreat on race-related issues where the narrator is the facilitator. The discussion runs a gamut of topics but once it veers into white passing, the narrator is wrecked. How often does it happen that one is either called out by both aisles of the identity corridor: “not brown enough again not white enough again & your mind dives back into his words, you dirty little spic;” In the end of the poem, there is some resolution over identity as she realizes she is “enough.”This book is the perfect read for #nationalpoetrymonth and may be of interest for poetry lovers and those keen on themes of identity and politics. Thank you @redhenpress for providing me with this arc.
    more
  • Keondra Freemyn
    January 1, 1970
    Body of Render melds themes of identity, otherness, oppression, mental health, temporality and the body. A dense but moderately quick read, much of the success of the poems relies heavily on the readers awareness of the current political climate and its effects on women and marginalized communities. Having come to the work with a strong background on these issues, it did not require much effort to understand the meaning of the poems. I suspect it would be a little more difficult for those Body of Render melds themes of identity, otherness, oppression, mental health, temporality and the body. A dense but moderately quick read, much of the success of the poems relies heavily on the readers awareness of the current political climate and its effects on women and marginalized communities. Having come to the work with a strong background on these issues, it did not require much effort to understand the meaning of the poems. I suspect it would be a little more difficult for those without firsthand experience. Perhaps that doesn't matter, if they are not the intended audience. The biggest challenge of this book is that it doesn't feel timely. Many of the poems reference events that occurred during the 2016 election and in the months leading up to President Trump's inauguration. Consequently, many other artists and thought leaders have addressed their concerns and dissent in the years since, making a large portion of this collection feel stale. Despite the challenges, I think this book is a good reminder of the political and social landscape surrounding the 2016 election and the aftermath, even if reading it in 2020 feels untimely.***I received a time-limited digital copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review***
    more
  • Patricia Murphy
    January 1, 1970
    These poems could not have come soon enough. The artful weave or personal detail, anatomy, private story, and political outrage come together to create an anthem for our times. Some of my favorite moments:say sexual predator, say ajokes sad fruition; what cruel reality thishistorical privilege, this thumb pressed uponyou & you &; how some close their eyes; howyou will weep, in one way or another.how blue my veins in loyal pump to heart; hownasty woman me; how proud; & the nation These poems could not have come soon enough. The artful weave or personal detail, anatomy, private story, and political outrage come together to create an anthem for our times. Some of my favorite moments:say sexual predator, say ajoke’s sad fruition; what cruel reality thishistorical privilege, this thumb pressed uponyou & you &; how some close their eyes; howyou will weep, in one way or another.how blue my veins in loyal pump to heart; hownasty woman me; how proud; & the nationteeters on a razor, ready to bleed—red red redWhat we understand of world behind glass; say observer; we tinker withotherness, securely in our jars;up; say O healthcare O, say capitalismfor whom, say freedom—& what of afford; a nation overjoyed to make youpoverty-bound, environmentally sick, an addict; & what of healing;our nation offers that too, if your pockets run just deep enough.We live in correlation to our naturalness on a planet; say Earth, yes, a system &what of our desire to control;
    more
Write a review