Book Review: Life Of The Party by Olivia Gatwood.
I picked up “life of the party” and held onto it for a few weeks before taking the time to read it but once I got into it, I was both heartbroken and filled with envy. Olivia did an incredible job with this collection of poems… She dives into trauma, life as a woman, fear, paranoia, and so many other things. I absolutely loved this entire collection.
The author’s note had me almost in tears and the entire collection is passion filled, scary, and written so well I could feel her words heavy in my chest; aching. After getting through just a few pages, I can tell you that Olivia doesn’t do micro poetry. Her pieces are mostly two pages long and are more complex than most of the poetry I’ve read in this past year (2019).
She is also not shy. Touching on topics that I haven’t seen many poetry touch on… Masturbation, platonic relationships with women, and experiencing death as a child. Her pieces touch on the raw; the truths that most don’t want to hear. Stories that need to be told. She focuses a lot on murders particularly on black and brown women, sex workers, etc, which I loved. It’s sad but it’s something I think needs to be spoken about more so her bringing awareness this specific topic is amazing.
I felt a little intimidated by her words; she made me want to be a better writer which only made me want to read more. “The Sandias, 2008” was one of my absolute favorites. The imagery is gorgeous and the sentiment beautiful. Literally, jealousy inducing for me. “Staying small” made me literally bawl my eyes out.
Her poetry is real and it causes you to really feel things. It is haunting and heartbreaking. It is full of every woman’s worst nightmares and it will make you feel so un-alone and so un-crazy. She doesn’t shy away from feminism at all in this collection. It is full of how scary it can be for women, especially women of color, backed up with story after story of women dying or being harmed…
I would say that you could probably slap a trigger warning on Olivia’s book but I’m so glad that I read it because it is such an amazing piece of art. I have to say I’ve become a little obsessed. Her way of writing and the story telling within her poetry is truly captivating.
I would absolute recommend this book to anyone and everyone. Definitely pick it up; you can buy it here on Amazon! If you’re still not convinced… Check out Olivia reading some of her poems from Life of The Party below!