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“How do we begin again? [Where] do we find such rebirth in ourselves? How many times must we burn before we are born again?” These are the questions that Alyssa Matuchniak’s debut poetry collection, Small Wars, Little Revolutions, asks and attempts to answer. A second-generation biracial woman, Matuchniak’s collection is one intent on uncovering and exploring the multiple fluctuating truths of a body—the truth of womanhood, of multiethnic heritage, of racial identity obscured and redefined by an American home. Here, we examine where a body’s story begins and ends, and begins again—how it perpetually manifests itself in fractured faith, in bisected racial identity, in the fraught yet wondrous beauty of femininity. In poems of womanhood, poems of body and multiraciality, and poems wrestling with an ever-changing faith in all things corporeal and spiritual, Matuchniak grapples with the self and all the ways in which a body is scrutinized, questioned, and bisected.
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