Synonyms for (OTHER) Bodies

“With each poem in her debut collection, Synonyms for (OTHER) Bodies, Daryl Sznyter peels back one of the tender, horrific, humorous, and often magical veils through which we view ourselves, others, and the collective “We” that for better or worse, comprises the human race. Oscillating between feminist and humanist, Sznyter’s words sing both anthem and psalm. Her unforgettable images – from acouple’s tender moment at the gynecologist to a mother-daughter bonding experience at a concert – will slam your head against the wall only to step back and nurture the wound.”

What others are saying

“Daryl Sznyter shoulders her way into the reader’s mind like a tough girl in a leather jacket: lipstick deep red, purple, or black; nails chipped; attitude a screwdriver or lever to pry open readers’ consciences, and in some cases, touch on painful memories … However, light and fresh air can help heal wounds, and similarly, exposing injuries of the heart through poetry may help people understand how wrong the status quo really is and begin to cherish themselves and others.”

– Ann Wehrman, Pedestal Magazine

“This is a remarkable debut, electric and alien, a bold dance through a visceral world. Its lithe arms draw us toward brokenness and rebellion, scars and family, ballet and a bloody, beautiful heart, where “even anarchy/can be tender.” The first truly riveting book I’ve read this year.”

– John Struloeff, Author of The Man I was Supposed to Be

“In this first collection, not only do readers hear the chilling clank of bone on bone, the rattle of prescription pills, and the sweat dripping down a sunburned back, but we also hear a voice that describes two worlds: one where the speaker was not permitted to speak and one that creates a world where she will no longer be silenced.”

– Abigail Frankfurt, Best American Poetry Blog

“Synonyms for (OTHER) Bodies is Pushcart Prize-nominated poet Daryl Sznyter’s impressive debut on subjects ranging from Catholic school to domestic violence to skipping work for adult ballet class … On their own, each of her poems could probably be mistaken for notes from a therapy session. Readers will redefine the way they see themselves after finishing this book.”

– Sara-Kate Astrove,

“Daryl Sznyter has a dancer’s love of mirrors, a knack for placing reflective words in just such a way as to capture the body’s language – its poses, angles, repeated gestures of ecstasy and distress. Her work offers a fierce feminist romanticism drawing on such figures as Bettie Page, Marie Laveau, and a virgin who asks the angel Gabriel to “take me/ raw” and “wear/ out my knees.” I see these poems as an antidote to our age of digital disembodiment. They return us to our senses with a cruel yet tender grace. This is a brave, edgy, & truly impressive debut collection.”

– Elaine Equi, Author of Sentences and Rain

“Daryl Sznyter pirouettes onto the poetry stage with a spellbinding first collection of poems. In this Black Swan’s hands, she flicks machetes. From the courageously blasphemous opening poem to the sad and terrifying woman-as-scapegoat of the final poem, Sznyter’s poetry insists on the centrality of emotion in life and on women’s abilities to help us realize the enormous responsibility that goes along with this truth. As the titles suggest, however, these poems are about bodies, too, particularly female bodies. The book dares you to expect an apology for its diction, regularly using words like “womb,” “menses,” “uterus” and its bold explorations of all that goes with living in a female body: IUD insertion, finding the right bra, trying to avoid being raped, fighting laws that prescribe patriarchal values. It is upsetting, delightful, inspiring, and most of all empowering to read this gorgeously written book.”

– Amanda J. Bradley, Author of Queen Kong

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