Skin Reverberations

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Skin Reverberations by Jodi Andrews

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Skin Reverberations by Jodi Andrews

 

“Inviting us to inhabit the poet’s own skin, this meticulously textured volume invites readers to notice afresh the gifts of our sense of touch, from scarred flesh to lover’s caress, to the iciness of winter to the touch of sun and the fuzz of an infant’s cheek.  Through the richness of this sensory experience we also experience the many dimensions of a cancer survivor’s journey, from diagnosis, through the indignities of treatment and the terrors of false alarms, emerging with a deepened appreciation for the precariousness of life and for everything our skin can feel.”

Kathleen Henderson Staudt, editor of This Thing Called Poetry

 

“This gorgeous collection tips between beauty and a dangerous precision as Jodi Andrews dissects the consequences of betrayal by one’s own body: the strangeness of the surgeon’s invasion, the imperfect knitting of skin “pulled taught and rigid like vellum.” Andrews excels at laying bare the cold fear of an unwelcome diagnosis but just as skillfully celebrates beauty and clarity in unexpected places: the Chihuly glass at the Mayo Clinic are “explosions of jubilation like fireworks / frozen in time” that “invite our eyes heavenward.” Winter poems sparkle throughout the collection, offering not only beauty and clarity but also protection, for it is bundled against the elements that Andrews can “…forget etched surgeries. I see stardust / in snow-covered grass and streets… / I swathe myself in snow / like a fur I’ve harvested…” By the time Andrews veers into a second, potentially deadlier diagnosis mid-collection (read and reread the brilliant “As If”!), we trust her implicitly as she leads us through the precarious nature of relief to experience—thank God—the skin-on-skin warmth of new life.”

Susan Gilbert-Collins, author of Starting from Scratch

 

“Skin Reverberations is a rich visceral experience, an invitation to the senses. Aptitude for astute observation lends the work a spiritual and philosophical complexity necessary to navigate the transient nature of our own existence. A tangible femininity and nod to lineage from ancestors to descendants builds an archetype extending far beyond the “I” of the speaker. Jodi Andrews skillfully offers metaphors like harvesting questionable lymph nodes in relation to harvest of crops that help us sort through daunting territory. Charged voltas wrestle with betrayal and resolve: “I wonder how I can just go on as if // I was never afraid to die”; “I back up and see”; and “I will not complain.”  Deep gratitude to Andrews for her willingness to lead our way in such vulnerable and critical conversation.”

Angela Dribben, author of Everygirl, finalist 2020
   Broadkill Review Dogfish Head Prize

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