A dazzling debut collection of raw and explosive poems about growing up in a sexist, sensationalized world, from a thrilling new feminist voice. i’m a good girl, bad girl, dream girl, sad girl girl next door sunbathing in the driveway i wanna be them all at once, i wanna be all the girls I’ve ever loved —from “Girl” Lauded for the power of her writing and having attracted an online fan base of millions for her extraordinary spoken-word performances, Olivia Gatwood now weaves together her own coming-of-age with an investigation into our culture’s romanticization of violence against women. At times blistering and riotous, at times soulful and exuberant, Life of the Party explores the boundary between what is real and what is imagined in a life saturated with fear. Gatwood asks, How does a girl grow into a woman in a world racked by violence? Where is the line between perpetrator and victim? In precise, searing language, she illustrates how what happens to our bodies can make us who we are. Advance praise for Life of the Party “Can any woman who has kicked through the glitter-edged current of adolescence ever fully emerge from those dark waters? Or we are hauntingly, nostalgically called back to that shore to plunge again through its salt, magic, and danger? Olivia Gatwood’s Life of the Party investigates both the beauty and threat that women endure as they exit childhood. To read this intoxicating collection is to be tempted by a siren call—that consuming impulse to risk safety for even the slimmest chance to understand the enigmatic source of violence. I cannot remember ever reading a collection of poems in one sitting, but I dove through Gatwood’s in one evening—and then came up for air and dove again.”—Lauren Berry, author of The Lifting Dress “Life of the Party may have been conceived by terror, but this delicately devastating collection of poems is remarkably fearless. Olivia Gatwood exhumes whispered and willfully forgotten stories, and champions them across the page, making us all ‘feel less alone in the dark.’” —Miel Bredouw

Dial Press Trade Paperback 176 pages

  • Reviews