Read Reviews of Uses of My Body:

Lauren K. Alleyne
D.A. Powell
selected publications

“Yearn Time,” Barrow Street Journal 
“Poem related to my body,” Barrow Street Journal 
“Ritual No. 30,” Ocean State Review  
“When my mother was decay,” Ocean State Review  
“Abuse,” Sprung Formal  
“Does One Heal From Domestic Violence,” WusGood Magazine 
“Not Without Kansas,” The Shade Journal 
“If My Mother Were Alive,” Vinyl 
“Look,” Breakbeat Poets: Black Girl Magic,
“beautiful black queen,” Breakbeat Poets: Black Girl Magic 
“Review of You Da One by Jennifer Tamayo,” Los Angeles Review  
“Book Review: ‘All the Songs We Sing,” Project on the History of Black Writing 


The other new collection that I'm smitten with is Simone Savannah's Uses of My Body. These poems emanate from someone sex- and body- positive, a woman who's not afraid to talk about dick and pussy. Not merely to be shocking, kinky or even funny (though those are all good uses of names for genitals, in their time) but also to reclaim one's own jurisdiction over what goes down, to assert boundaries around ones own personhood, to say "being / beautiful being black and a woman is difficult. / I must be deliberate I know now. Men (mis) read my dissertation / my poems / want to fuck me." There are moving elegies to Savannah's mother, as well as poems about dance and desire. We are treated to the writer's body through her careful curation, just as the locations and the eyes remain hidden in nude pictures, some things are cut out at the discretion of the sender. This is a book of autonomy as much as anatomy. Savannah says, in the first poem, she wanted to write "something that speaks / to the way I am actually built/have moved and pushed / have drenched myself in sweat." I find her voice so refreshing, and the poems: vital. 
-D.A. Powel
Uses of My Body by Simone Savannah is a collection that leaps fully into one of poetry’s most delicious devices: the oxymoron. The poems manage to be simultaneously loud and quiet, open and guarded, raw and technically savvy. They are offered to us by a speaker both brash and vulnerable, honest and slippery, dangerous and imperiled. And what better vehicle to enact these dual tenors than the body? Presented in the text as both a site of power and powerlessness, the body in the hands of this poet is wrought in all its complexity; it is instrument and music, vessel and river, fortress and breach, machine and mystery. The word “uses” in the title simultaneously implies the speaker’s agented deployment of the body’s power and its potential to be co-opted and used by others.

-Lauren K. Alleyne