Publication: March 1, 2021
Look Alive documents the construction of a queer femme self in the hostile territory of American late capitalism. Its speaker encounters darkness—in the form of violence perpetrated by both individuals and by societal systems of power and oppression—and yet, rejects the narratives articulated by that violence, celebrating instead softness and gentleness, and ultimately, cleaving to the natural world in all its radiant, mysterious queerness.
“Luiza Flynn-Goodlett’s smart, sensual, agile collection takes you to the prairie, to the creek, to the kitchen counter, to bed—muddies you, then scrubs you clean. With a speaker who keeps your secrets and shouts your glories, Look Alive reveals the enduring territory of embodied queer womanhood—efflorescent and as susceptible to pleasure as it is to harm. Flynn-Goodlett quilts together rural origins and distance traveled, along with rich image and hardwearing language, into an impressive debut with the weight of an heirloom. If you let it, Look Alive can be the guardian inoculation that pierces you with a little taste of the big grief and the big joy so you can survive them when they come.” – Alicia Mountain, author of High Ground Coward
“This is a book composed of poems shaped like doors, trapdoors, and gates, and rightly so. They offer us entry to the sublime, to the kind of aliveness only accessible by passing through death where blooms are “bruises / both faded and freshly made” and “though the heart thuds with lack. / lack, lack,” it flowers. These are lean, meticulously curated poems that nonetheless let so much in; loss, embodiment, injury, victimization, witnessed and voiced. “What chafes,” Flynn-Goodlett writes, “life / to light.” This lifting into the light—one of the most crucial functions of the lyric poem—allows for a survival “half-forgotten as / tampons at the bottom of a purse. / saying you’ve bled, still bleed, live.” Look Alive finally does not simply look alive. It lives. It aims a flashlight at my own dark corners. It sisters me.” –Diane Seuss, author of Four-Legged Girl and Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
Luiza Flynn-Goodlett previously published six chapbooks, most recently Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor’s Prize, and Tender Age, winner of the 2019 Headmistress Press Charlotte Mew Prize. Her poetry can be found in TriQuarterly, Third Coast, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She serves as editor-in-chief of Foglifter in sunny Oakland, California.
Perfect Bound, $15.00