Danielle Pafunda’s Spite reimagines André Breton’s Nadja in conversation with his Communicating Vessels and My Heart Through Which Her Heart Has Passed. Spite speaks through the melancholy bohemian dream girl. No longer gateway to the masculine artist’s destiny, Nadja becomes agent of her own evolution. The poems consider what happens when we no longer equate the hospital with the tomb, but understand it as generative site. Nadja rolls her ex-lover on a gurney through a city on fire. She trawls construction sites, nurses’ brows, and apple trees. We pick up the tin-can extension, wreck ourselves on the delirious island, consider the dishonest belief that every day must include / pain, and descend a massive swath of silk. Spite has no fear of ugly feelings, nor of wonder.
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From Shakespeare's Sonnet 133, 'Beshrew that heart that makes my heart to groan!' Danielle Pafunda has crafted a series of tightly packed lines in an untitled blank-- or, busted, broken and halved-- verse. Sonnets that lead the reader to her harbor, letting them choose their own ghosts in this deliciously noir and playfully speculative new body of poems.
"Intense, poetic and lyrical, Danielle Pafunda's The Book of Scab absorbs and expunges young female experience. Like her contemporaries Joni Murphy and Rachel Nagelberg, Pafunda posits a Young Girl who, despite her restrictions, sees, feels and knows all. Pafunda's work is a powerful force."
– Chris Kraus, I Love Dick
“Danielle Pafunda abolishes the stereotype of prissy, dainty girls in her thrilling poetry collection The Dead Girls Speak in Unison. Set in a surrealistic underworld, takes on the collective voice of empowered female corpses and ironically uses quaint language and structure to describe the true nature of women. […] Pafunda’s collection leaves readers craving more of its ‘rotten pages.’ ‘If you’re looking for something pretty,’ don’t look here. —Verse, Brittany Capps
“We don’t often see choral speakers, but speaking in unison gives these ‘girls’ collective presence, forcing us to face gender violence. [T]he girls gain a certain power in this … raw girls who bypass maturity, who are as rank and offensive as possible. These unrefined girls are deeply unsettling.” —The Plot, Heidi Czerwiec
Poetry. "Danielle Pafunda is a sick twist. I read her for seer and scar. She sees and scars, most especially my insides. MANHATER doesn't hate so much as it confounds. It mixes me up: finding-me-with its scathing, tight phrases, bit-off and spit-out with the kind of venom you don't manufacture because you're born-with. It finds-me-with its horrormother, a figure both ick and sympathet-ick, both grotesque and ingrown, mommydearest of nightmare and mirror. It finds-me-with its plates of illness—china and petri, 'shard and glisten'—and with its ex-lovers: weep boys and beardeds and dog ones. Always, Pafunda finds-me-with something. I'm always ashamed. And always, always I'm smiling."—Kirsten Kaschock
"Danielle Pafunda is at it again, thank goodness: saying what almost no one else will say, as only she can say it. Read her for the reality check; come back for the rhetorical rocket fuel. These poems ask: Can you recognize yourself in Mommy? Can you recognize yourself in the mirror? MANHATER collects the language of the body, the body, the body. The world lurking in its pages 'expels symmetry,' 'surveys...the sunrise / barf,' invites the 'bitch seizure,' will 'shard and glisten' for you. Enter and 'wait for the tremble.'"—Evie Shockley
“No other book I know has so thoroughly shaken the fuckwad out of my pudenda. Disclosures: I heard her perform many of these poems at the Lynchian Jewel Box Theater in Seattle (sans cellist!) and was shocked to feel my latent masochistic inner-heterosexual demand that she never stop doing what she does best, all “safe words” be damned. Favorites: ‘You put me in the dress, I’m just wearing it. Externally.’; ‘Stingray’; ‘Punishment’; and her epic serial ‘On the Bearskin Rug in Front of the Fire I Construct the Following Tableau.'” —Timothy Liu, Coldfront
“Years enough have taught me that misogyny doesn’t distinguish between the two, and I’ve come around to recovering the complexities and useful darknesses found within that idea of ‘girl’. Among several poets I consider to be writing towards this recovery is Danielle Pafunda, whose newest book, Natural History Rape Museum, was released just last month by Bloof Books.” —Paula Mendoza, Michigan Quarterly
Danielle Pafunda’s third collection Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies is a glittering gloaming sci-fi pregnancy epic. It takes place in half-light and lullaby, blaze and shiver. The poems owe a debt to Margaret Atwood, Matthew Derby, Donna Haraway, Edgar Lee Masters, and Monique Wittig, among others, but this book is an animal unto itself. A collaborative of women quits our world for a compound of its own making. They conjure and impregnate cyborg surrogates. We hear from these women, their surrogates, and a small band of renegades. Lacunae abound, history rears, death and its vicious proxy loss stalk. All are perched, maggot visionaries and at the same time most regular.
An enticing second collection by Danielle Pafunda, My Zorba is a mysterious, memoirish confabulation of missives narrating the dark domestic drama of the speaker and one shape-shifting Zorba. Is Zorba lover? Sister? Captor? Uncanny double? And does the story end in a bloody accident or intentional poisoning?