“When I say that we are all teen girls”

Olivia Gatwood is one of my favorite contemporary poets. I love her perspective, choice of subject matter, and that her poems are just as strong on paper as they are performed.

Spoken word poetry kind of gets a bad rap in the mainstream, but if you’ve never seen good spoken word before, this is what it looks like.

Excerpt from the poem in the video and her collection Life of the Party:

When I Say That We Are All Teen Girls

What is more teen girl than not being
loved but wanting it so badly
that you accept the smallest crumb and call
yourself full; what is more teen girl than
my father’s favorite wrench, its eternal loyalty
and willingness to loosen the most stubborn of bolts;
what is more teen girl than my mother’s chewed
nail beds, than the whine of the floorboards in her