Virgin

Virgin

Selected by Ross Gay as winner of the inaugural Jake Adam York Prize, Analicia Sotelo's debut collection of poems is a vivid portrait of the artist as a young woman.In Virgin, Sotelo walks the line between autobiography and mythmaking, offering up identities like dishes at a feast. These poems devour and complicate tropes of femininity--of naivete, of careless abandon--bef...

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Title:Virgin
Author:Analicia Sotelo
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Edition Language:English

Virgin Reviews

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I was hooked from the first poem, "

    " from this impressive debut collection by Analicia Sotelo.

    My favorites included:

    "Ariadne's Guide to Getting a Man"

    "

    "

    "My English Victorian Dating Troubles."

    What I like about them - the way they feel youthful, but not naive. The way the poet's voice knows her inexperience but moves through the world deliberately masking her understanding of it so other women feel safe, and she herself is safer (but

    I was hooked from the first poem, "

    " from this impressive debut collection by Analicia Sotelo.

    My favorites included:

    "Ariadne's Guide to Getting a Man"

    "

    "

    "My English Victorian Dating Troubles."

    What I like about them - the way they feel youthful, but not naive. The way the poet's voice knows her inexperience but moves through the world deliberately masking her understanding of it so other women feel safe, and she herself is safer (but not from love.) The way there are slight elements of Mexican culture, the way someone who grows up in another country still has some cultural references from their background. The division of poems into sections like "Myths" and "Parables." The characters that have already started to recur in her memory, her dreams, and now her poems. Great stuff.

  • Alana

    To admit I love you would be to admit

    I love ideas more than men,

    myself even less than ideas.

  • Margaryta

    "Virgin" feels intimate on many layers, simultaneously biting and soothing. Sotelo gives the reader wisdom without making it sound that way and without being imposing in the process. Each consecutive poem draws you in deeper, and I began to question where the boundaries between myself, Sotelo, and womanhood were. Bare, honest, and clever, "Virgin" does away with cliches and exaggerations. These are genuine, pulsing poems, ones you can feel in your heart and mouth simultaneously, ones that make y

    "Virgin" feels intimate on many layers, simultaneously biting and soothing. Sotelo gives the reader wisdom without making it sound that way and without being imposing in the process. Each consecutive poem draws you in deeper, and I began to question where the boundaries between myself, Sotelo, and womanhood were. Bare, honest, and clever, "Virgin" does away with cliches and exaggerations. These are genuine, pulsing poems, ones you can feel in your heart and mouth simultaneously, ones that make you want to go out into the world and break the silence.

  • Jerrie (redwritinghood)

    This was a great collection of poems reflecting on how a young woman comes to find her place in the world and love herself. Many of the poems use the Ariadne myth as a basis, but others relate to art and her Mexican American culture.

  • Gwendolyn

    Analicia Sotelo is the first winner of the new Jake Adam York Prize for this debut poetry collection, and she is a deserving winner. I particularly love how these poems take contemporary situations and weave them together with mythological figures, famous artists, and other more timeless elements. These poems are accessible without being dumbed down. Here’s a heartbreaking fragment from the poem “South Texas Persephone”:

    In the bar, we'll dance to a song I hate,

    but I'll cling to him anyway.

    This i

    Analicia Sotelo is the first winner of the new Jake Adam York Prize for this debut poetry collection, and she is a deserving winner. I particularly love how these poems take contemporary situations and weave them together with mythological figures, famous artists, and other more timeless elements. These poems are accessible without being dumbed down. Here’s a heartbreaking fragment from the poem “South Texas Persephone”:

    In the bar, we'll dance to a song I hate,

    but I'll cling to him anyway.

    This is the darkness of marriage,

    the burial of my preferences

    before they can even be born.

  • Matt Ely

    I appreciated the multiplicity of styles, sometimes letting words languish and drag, other times pushing one after another. Her titles work incredibly well as a supplement to the poem itself, with examples like "I'm trying to write a poem about a virgin and it's awful," setting the tone that helpfully contrasts with a series inspired by Greek myth. I read this volume quickly for school, but it deserves more time than I gave it, and there are large sections I would like to return to at a slower p

    I appreciated the multiplicity of styles, sometimes letting words languish and drag, other times pushing one after another. Her titles work incredibly well as a supplement to the poem itself, with examples like "I'm trying to write a poem about a virgin and it's awful," setting the tone that helpfully contrasts with a series inspired by Greek myth. I read this volume quickly for school, but it deserves more time than I gave it, and there are large sections I would like to return to at a slower pace.

  • Sarah

    Some favorite quotes:

    But he's right outside.

    Not right for me, but right outside.

    Now I have three heads: one for speech, one for sex, and one for second guessing.

    If you do marry, marry well

    Or marry never.

    And remember:

    A mother will always love you,

    But a man can draw you in.

    Grow up even more, to the point where nothing fits.

    Let us not get coffee.

    Let us not sit so close to each other

    That we can't tell which thoughts are truly private. I am tired

    Of undressing to no comment,

    Years and years

    Some favorite quotes:

    But he's right outside.

    Not right for me, but right outside.

    Now I have three heads: one for speech, one for sex, and one for second guessing.

    If you do marry, marry well

    Or marry never.

    And remember:

    A mother will always love you,

    But a man can draw you in.

    Grow up even more, to the point where nothing fits.

    Let us not get coffee.

    Let us not sit so close to each other

    That we can't tell which thoughts are truly private. I am tired

    Of undressing to no comment,

    Years and years of youth

    Wasted to the particles in the air.

  • Eli

    This collection's title announces a balancing act: Sotelo is trying to navigate both the stark world of sexual politics and the richly allusive potential of Catholic mythology. Unfortunately, though there are poems in this volume where these things come together in a perfect collusion of image and intellect (my favorite,

    is frankly gorgeous), most of the poems in this collection fall too far on one side of that line for my taste, ending up either sounding like a s

    This collection's title announces a balancing act: Sotelo is trying to navigate both the stark world of sexual politics and the richly allusive potential of Catholic mythology. Unfortunately, though there are poems in this volume where these things come together in a perfect collusion of image and intellect (my favorite,

    is frankly gorgeous), most of the poems in this collection fall too far on one side of that line for my taste, ending up either sounding like a salvo of epigrams or a jumble of images.

  • Michelle

    Eh, didn't really connect with this one. Lots of subpar Plath karaoke, randomly dispersed line breaks in occasionally interesting-sounding but ultimately meaning-free and slippery prose, a surfeit of boring and facile autobiography, an overarching lack of rigor. Perhaps unfairly, as I read I think I began to hold Virgin up as the avatar for everything that annoys me about contemporary poetry. I did think that the quality picked up considerably in the latter sections that dealt more with mytholog

    Eh, didn't really connect with this one. Lots of subpar Plath karaoke, randomly dispersed line breaks in occasionally interesting-sounding but ultimately meaning-free and slippery prose, a surfeit of boring and facile autobiography, an overarching lack of rigor. Perhaps unfairly, as I read I think I began to hold Virgin up as the avatar for everything that annoys me about contemporary poetry. I did think that the quality picked up considerably in the latter sections that dealt more with mythological archetypes rather than becardiganed grad students at shitty potlucks.

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