“Alvarez’s casual tone, visceral imagery, and surprising figurative language keeps the reader engaged throughout.”
—Craig Santos Perez
In her remarkable first collection, Ivy Alvarez’s Mortal examines the relationship between Dee and Seph — modern-day reinventions of Demeter and Persephone — and how the specter of breast cancer affects them.
Mortal spans years and personalities, giving voice to mother and daughter in poems that are both visceral (“they had to unzip me / to let the cat / out of the bag // blood bathed my belly”) and quietly elegant (“how do I hold you / I wonder, as I’m holding you”).
Read earth, a poem from Mortal.
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