Our bodies learn through pain and pleasure, and our lives of measured risks leave their mark upon us through the scarring imprint of memory. We wear our scars like these poems wear their words. “Her Animal Inheritance” is a collaboration of poems by Tai Woodville, Alissa Hattman, and Sara Jackson-Holman. The manuscript is formed of their alternating voices, woven like intimacies; shared by women in a sacred spiritual circle. These poems take turns as they speak, question, honor, and validate each other. These poems listen. In this purposeful intimacy, bodies shed sentimentality; bones are left— truths; just meat and muscle. While showing themselves in this way, the poets are aware of their judgements, and they are aware of their losses. It is not easy to be this vulnerable.
Expressions of desire and dreams live and thrive across the deep ravines of regret and grief. While the collection does occasionally edge towards the nefarious edges of the unknown, it does not let go completely… Just when depression is about to give in; just when the sullenness sticks around— too long— like a long Portland winter, the July sun appears… And, like an altar on the hearth of a wise woman’s home, these poems hold space for spirit.
Poems dive, seeking answers to questions not yet asked. There are meditations of the past, symbolized through the archetypal language of dreams. And in these symbolic reflections, beyond the surface, there is spiritual light. It comes like a miracle. Hits you like traffic. It will prickle the stiffest hairs on the body of a nonbeliever with the crystalline-electric shock of wonder. Our bodies tell the time, tell the story— whether we like it or not… Some things you can not help but feel, can’t forget, no matter how… This collection is an imprint of the experience of three women. Truths. Three women’s voices— these poems are her body. They are her story. They change with the tides, with the seasons, and with her environment. When she is supported, she will flourish. When she is lifted, she will soar. Open these pages to see the full moon… You may howl wildly in recognition.
“Her Animal Inheritance” will be available for purchase on & after August 17th 2017 at Portland’s Mother Foucault’s. There will be a reading of the collection at 7 pm. 523 SE Morrison.