Heleen's Reviews > Portrait of My Body as a Crime I'm Still Committing

Portrait of My Body as a Crime I'm Still Committing by Topaz Winters
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it was amazing

Born on the cusp of the new millennium, Topaz Winters has accomplished something that takes many writers a lifetime; that is, the development of a singular, recognisable voice. This voice chimes loudly throughout this collection, a lyrical cadence that builds and softens, whisking the reader along. Portrait is perhaps more corporeal than her previous collections, in its explicitly physical language and visceral imagery. There is a lot of fire and a lot of food, with ties in with Winters’ exploration of love like something ravenous. The usual culprits make an appearance (girlhood, longing, mental health), but that’s not to say the images are repetitive. If anything, there is a lot of if not thematic, certainly formal experiment in this collection. The poems are smartly sculpted and pay homage to Winters’ masterful command of an impressive range of stylistic devices (personal favourite examples are ‘Alternate Names for Gay Girls (after Danez Smith)’, ‘Self-Diagnosis’, ‘Infernal / Inferno’, and ‘July’). This amounts to a clever blend of form and function, to the impression of a writer who knows how to choose the appropriate technique to reach the desired affect, without ever sinking into artifice. The result, as a whole, is nothing short of rapturous.

Note: This review was written in exchange for an advanced reader copy.
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Reading Progress

April 1, 2019 – Shelved
April 1, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
April 15, 2019 – Started Reading
April 29, 2019 – Finished Reading

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