Raw Anyone lays bare the intimate invasions of toxins into our bodily cells and environment, revealing our cell phone and consumer addictions, all exacerbated in a global pandemic. This work demands we consider, “What authentic connection remains possible in a late capitalist world where, long before Covid-19, we have been quarantined even from ourselves?” Through a series of epistles, ekphrases, erasures, and sonnets, these poems wrestle metaphysical questions pertaining to time, love, and what we truly value. Raw Anyone is a book of address and query, a love letter to a twin, that shadow self that still expands and contracts rooms within rooms within us all.
Raw Anyone, endorsements:
The poems in Alex Mattraw’s third full-length collection Raw Anyone offer the reader a deep poetic examination of the social and environmental toxins that affect our lives during these pandemic times. Cells, mouths, and rooms hold spaces for questions and declarations. In “A Room, after Virginia Woolf,” the author implores, “Knock the head-room. / I ask you to live.” This compelling poetry collection burns with detoxifying intelligence and heart.
—Maw Shein Win, author of Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn)
“Beauty is a constant vanishing,” Alex Mattraw writes, “a hole in the sky that keeps. A widening reason we both believe in ghosts.” Infused with dreams, imaginative readings, leaps of language, and vibrant and sharp insights, Raw Anyone cuts open the cloth, reveals the hidden within our plain sight. These are poems that illuminate through their withholding, trip the wire of time, and fill the hush of silence.
—Jenny Boully, author of The Body and Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on The Writing Life
— These are the heights poetry can always take me. I love this book! Alexandra Mattraw’s conversation is an interdimensional connection threading Woolf, Sappho, and the fragility of love and lungs in an all-consuming pandemic. Dear Thought Climate, Dear cell, “As creator, nature owes me.” This is the boldness that sets a reader up the “Ladder’s / head-heart.”
—CAConrad, author of AMANDA PARADISE: Resurrect Extinct Vibration