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Cover Art by Trinh Mai

Read an interview with Ja'net about her process, the inspiration for the book, and her obsession with 2001: A Space Odyssey in MAYDAY.

WINNER OF the MAYDAY 2022 MICRO CHAPBOOK POETRY CONTEST EDITORS' CHOICE AWARD

In This Body I Have Tried to Write, Ja’net Danielo expertly weaves together malignant tumors (“sharp-edged stones”), the James Webb Space Telescope, 90210, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the etymology of the language of physical suffering to produce a collection that references not only the singular body of the speaker but also the very web of genetics and human connection. Danielo’s poems grapple with tension of the body as a force of danger and desire: “Who among us hasn’t wanted / to kill the sweetest thing?” An impressive demonstration of craft and music, “We are only rust-gold / & bright for so long…And we’re / so tired of sucking the sap, bark-/ parched lips making do with / sugar scraps,” we are asked to consider the body as burden, as machine, and as the “construction of time.” These poems are a collective meditation on the pervasive nature of illness, how it spreads not only within one body but among them, and how the world will not soften for our grieving—neither for the living nor the dead. This Body I Have Tried to Write compels readers to wrestle with what it means to be wholly alive and woefully fragile.

                                                           --MAYDAY Poetry Editors