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Nothing Is Okay

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  506 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Nothing is Okay is the second full-length poetry collection by Rachel Wiley, whose work simultaneously deconstructs the lies that we were taught about our bodies and our beings, and builds new ways of viewing ourselves. As she delves into queerness, feminism, fatness, dating, and race, Wiley molds these topics into a punching critique of culture and a celebration of self. ...more
Paperback, 96 pages
Published February 20th 2018 by Button Poetry
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4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  506 ratings  ·  83 reviews

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Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rachel, by turns, makes me think, cry, laugh, rage... all the feels. I was lucky enough to see her do a reading of her work here in Minneapolis recently, and I have never been more enthralled at anything. She is brilliant and simultaneously reverent AND irreverant. I adore her and her work. I 100% recommend this book.
Jena Blancard
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These poems were amazing. So incredibly raw and I honestly didn't know what to expect. I saw a few videos of Rachel Wiley on Facebook and just couldn't put off buying the book any longer. Her words are emotional and I could relate them on more than one occasion. I love her spirit and hope to embody a little bit more of that ferocity in my life. Thank you for writing such amazing words. *hugs*
Taryn (Taryn and Her Books)
I immediately bought this book after watching a video of Rachel Wiley read out the poem "Paper Babies." This was a really great, accessible collection of poetry. The writing wasn't too flowery or filled with too many metaphors/similes. Wiley has an amazing way of making you feel so much humor in one poem and then so much anger in the next. I'll certainly be trying to get my hands on her previous poetry collections after reading this and I'll be keeping an eye out for future releases. Highly reco ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great stuff. Thought-provoking, with fantastic choice of words.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I knew this book was going to be amazing before I bought it. What I didn't realize was what level of amazing it was going to be.

I was scrolling through Facebook Friday morning and someone had shared a reading of Dry Cake Wishes and Tap Water Dreams. I watched it. Four lines in, I was screaming in laughter. I saw the mention for this book, found it on Prime, and kept watching Rachel Wiley's videos--and screaming. Before Nothing is OK had even gotten to my mailbox, I had shed tears over Belly Kiss
Amber Am's
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I loved this book!! Some poems made me laugh out loud & others made me want to cry. What more can you ask for from a poetry collection?
Kris Dersch
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great collection! While I think she is better when you can actually hear her read (true of most modern poets, especially those who write in free verse,) these jumped off the page nicely when read and are brutal and in your face in all the best ways. Some humor, although biting, is mixed in...her Ok Cupid rejection letters are fabulous...which keeps the whole thing from sinking under its own negativity which the title makes you think it might. Nothing is okay and yet there is strength and beauty ...more
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lgbtqia, own-it-read
A friend of mine sent me this book, and while I had already loved Rachel Wiley's Button Poetry videos, I hadn't yet actually read her stuff. And OH MY GOD bury me with this because she has absolutely murdered me. There is so much of her poetry that I feel down to my soul and she pulls it out in her words so perfectly, not only with wit and cleverness, but also with grace and beauty.
May 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
This poetry is beautiful and painful and perfect.
How dare Rachel Wiley know me like this.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
THIS is the poet and style of poetry I've been searching for all this time. In a poetic world overwhelmed with cursory, aphorism like "poems," Wiley brings forth a collection of poetry that satiates readers and doesn't leave them hanging. Not only are the poems developed, leaving readers satisfied, but they are also some of the most candid and hard hitting poems I've come across in quite some time. Additionally, one of the many things I admired about Wiley's writing is that she doesn't sugar coa ...more
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I'm not sure how this is my first time reading Rachel Wiley's work, but at least I've finally found it.

New poet obsession. This woman.

So many poems in this collection feel like she could have plucked the inspiration from my own life. It's so strange the similarities. I read this cover to cover in one sitting, made notes, and I will read it again and again. Wiley's words are constructed with so much passion and tragedy, but so incredibly real it's almost overwhelming at times.

C. Varn
Jun 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rachel Wiley's voice is direct, topical, and highly interested in the various ways we construe gender, romance, bodies, sexuality, etc. Wiley is witty and often veers into laugh-out-loud funny, but she also has an easy pace that deceptively simple in its artistry. Emotionally rich despite the humor, and while fairly direct free-verse most of the time, I enjoyed Wiley's poems enough to savor a few of them for both their direct language and their humor.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
4/5 stars

Some of these poems were really difficult to read, just because of how much I identified with the way Wiley wrote about queerness and being fat. Wiley is definitely a poet I'm going to look out for just based on her openness about being fat, something I still think is quite rare to see, and is something that encourages me personally.
chantel nouseforaname
I fucks with Rachel Wiley. She's a sav. Not to mention, all these poems I relate to immensely. She just goes so hard you feel it. Coming from the intersections of a fat, black feminist - all these poems hit me in the feels. What I like about Rachel Wiley is not only is she brilliant writer, she just delivers straight FACTS. I wanna read Fat Girl Finishing School RIGHT NOW.
Molly Hoggard
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Sharp poems written with a burlesque and fierce flow...I loved each and every page! One particular poem grabbed my heart with great strength yet another brought tears of empathy...another brought laughter...this is such a unique read! R. WILEY well-done!
Olivia Case
Mar 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say this was the best of its kind and will hold this one close to my heart
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
This book did have quite a few good poems inside but I think for me it missed the mark a little bit. Worth the read though as there are still some absolute gems.
Allison Hogue
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I found many of these poems relatable. And even those I didn’t relate to personally were engaging and dynamic and had me wanting more. A very good collection.
Andrea Dillon
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is amazing! So honest and moving and just AMAZING!
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect follow-up to "Fat Girl Finishing School"!

This collection of poems carries forward Rachel's excellent reflections on systemic oppression through innovative poetic expression. Her voice rings through midwestern cityscapes, schoolyards, family gatherings, and an apartment occupied by one endearing cat, Clementine. Her keen observations make this book an absolute delight to read!
Nov 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is basically as if someone spoke the things that sometimes scream in my heart in the deepest dark. I knew she wrote good poetry, but I am lying here in a shell-shocked haze of being seen and so many of these poems just felt like my soul was being cracked open.
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been struggling with poetry since last year. I would see a poem, get the collection, and feel stupid about the rest of the collection being very abstract or inaccessible to a dummy like me. This collection is stunning and much of it seems like things I could have written about my own life. I might buy a copy to have it always.
May 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I happened to read this on my exes 27th birthday. If you’ve read “Dry Cake Wishes and Tap Water Dreams” maybe you’ll understand why this feels like irony, why it feels like kismet, why it feels like salvation.

As a lonely, mixed, depressed fat girl myself, this is probably the most relatable work I’ve ever read. And I want more.
Read my full review on my book blog

Content Warnings: fatphobia, a lot of sexual language and references, biracial identity discrimination, queerphobia, racism, sexual assault, historical rape

Nothing is Okay slowly takes your heart out of your chest and crushes it with its own self-love. I'm serious - this book is overwhelming. I love it. As a fat person, I have struggled with my fatness and using the word 'fat', but Wiley just takes all of those negative thoughts and chucks them out of the windo
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice poetry. Strong word choices. I don't like all of ot bit some is really good.

Parts of the book I like:

Poem name -> part of poem I liked

Rejection #1 -> "the screech and click dial up modem siren song of your people"

Mixed girl ->
"wonders if it's called passing because something dies inside
each time
Carries her blackness like Peter Pan's shadow shot down and
stitched desperately back to her heels"

***My whiteness hits on me in a bar *** -> wow. Whole poem. Wow.

In the event the wind
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this book of poetry up on a whim because I had come cross one of Rachel Wiley's slam poetry videos from Button Poetry's Facebook page. It was a poem that actually is in this book of poetry called Belly Kisses. I decided after watching her perform Belly isses I needed to read her book as soon as possible.

Rachel Wiley is a queer, mixed raced, intersectional feminist, body positive, fat woman. Other than being super white, I can relate to most of the descriptors she sues for herself in the
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have a confession to make: I am a monster. No, not the kind who stampedes through Tokyo (though #goals) or the kind that lurks outside your window at night. I am dog-earer. I know, a shiver ran up the spine of book lovers everywhere--I could feel you all cringing. I know, it's a bad habit. But when I read (poetry especially) I like to be able to mark the page where I found something really striking, so I can double back and find it later. When it comes to my books, a turned down corner means " ...more
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Trigger Warnings: eating disorders, body shaming and rape.

Rachel Wiley has been one of my favourite poets ever since I first saw her performance of Ten Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy on the Button Poetry Youtube Channel. I just simply adore the “no-BS” manner she exudes during her readings and it’s actually taken me quite a while to find out that she has not one, but two, poetry collections. Nothing Is Okay features a lot of well-known poems (to those familiar with her work) suc
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
The fat and the furious.

If you've been following the Button crew regularly, you've probably seen Wiley's "Fat Joke" or "Dry Cake Wishes and Tap Water Dreams" poems. If you haven't, please go look that up, then come back here, and we'll talk.

Ready? Okay. The two poems you watched are only the tip of the iceberg this strong, smart collection about life and love as a large woman. The "How to Eat Your Feelings" series is a brilliant subversion of the tendency women have to use food as a coping mech
McKenzie Richardson
For more reviews check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is an amazing collection of poems. I have read so many poetry books that have a few stand out poems and not much else. In this one, each poems has a mind of its own. It grabs you by the face and pulls you in, makes you smile, makes you cry, gives you a glimpse into the human condition.

Absolutely amazing.

The topics are so varied unlike some poetry books that seem to only write poems about one topic. Instead Wiley covers a variety of things such
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