In Body of Starlight, Carroll explores the female body and its connection to the cosmos, shirking conventional ideas of beauty and physicality with sometimes tragic, often witty meditations on Eastern philosophy and Western superficiality. Characterizing womanhood as both supremely divine and hopelessly mortal, Carroll chronicles her experiences, observations, and opinions with intimate and sexy detail.
Poet Maggie Smith says, “Body of Starlight is wise, quick-witted, and fearless. Clearly concerned with both the physical and the mystical, these are poems of muscle and bone; poems of shadow and light. Full of music and masterfully enjambed, Carroll’s poems sing. ‘This planetary song…rings too in our molecules, little songs,//sonnets in our teeth…’ Lean in, body and soul. Listen. These poems have things to teach us.”
According to Carroll, “This is a book about reclaiming the body, it’s about reclaiming the language, the cultural narratives, and the physical violations that inhabit a body throughout a lifetime. In many ways I believe this to be a #MeToo book, which adds to the rising movement of voices who refuse to stay silent amidst the shame of physical transgressions.”
Melissa Carroll is a writer, poet, yoga instructor, and occasional rancher. She received her MFA from University of South Florida in 2012. Melissa is the editor of the essay collection Going OM: Real-Life Stories on and off the Yoga Mat (Viva Editions, 2014). Melissa is the author of two poetry chapbooks: The Pretty Machine (ELJ Editions, 2016) and The Karma Machine (YellowJacket Press, 2011), which received the Peter Meinke Award.
Body of Starlight will be available for pre-sale at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs, AWP, held in Portland Oregon from March 27th-30th. Carroll will also be leading yoga classes every day throughout the conference.