My Art Is Killing Me and Other Poems
In her novels, poetry, and prose, Amber Dawn has written eloquently on queer femme sexuality, individual and systemic trauma, and sex work justice, themes drawn from her own lived experience and revealed most notably in her award-winning memoir How Poetry Saved My Life.
In this, her second poetry collection, Amber Dawn takes stock of the costs of coming out on the page in a heartrendingly honest and intimate investigation of the toll that artmaking takes on artists. These long poems offer difficult truths within their intricate narratives that are alternately incendiary, tender, and rapturous.
In a cultural era when intersectional and marginalized writers are topping bestseller lists, Amber Dawn invites her readers to take an unflinching look at what we expect from writers, and from each other.
Includes a foreword by writer Doretta Lau.
In gorgeous, incisive poems, Amber Dawn challenges us to rethink our closely held imaginations about sex, sex work, women, violence, and the making of art. This book is both an interrogation of the self as artist and an expose of the ways in which we are all complicit in the very systems we want to dismantle. Under the compassionate surgery of Amber Dawnâ??s words, I felt like I was being remade. My Art is Killing Me should be required reading for everyone. -SJ Sindu, author of Marriage of a Thousand Lies
In her brilliant new collection, Amber Dawn documents, probes, and analyzes her own 'happily ever after' success story of a sex worker turned award-winning writer. As you (literally you) read this book, you are continually confronted with the question of who consumes sex worker experiences, to what end, and at what cost comes that consumption. 'We fail to see / nearby violence while we naively imagine distant violence,' Amber Dawn laments, and you donâ??t need to look further for nearby violence than the polite world of institutional CanLit. When new traumas arise, Amber Dawn concocts new spells for healing in this book woven of magic, testament and prayer. These poems deftly slip among registers, languages, experiences, and traditions to tell a whole-hearted, full-bodied, and totally essential truth. -Sachiko Murakami, author of Get Me Out of Here