by Tanya Grae
Tanya Grae’s Undoll is a debut poetry collection that explores the ways we can be confined—by image, society, tradition—how we often play roles for ourselves, for others. Experimenting through form and rhythm, Grae’s brave personal quartet examines how damage has an origin often lost along the way. Part coming of age, part battle cry, Undoll, whether viewed as a noun, an adjective, or a verb, points to nonconforming, that the received role can be unzipped and left behind.
Book Design: Alban Fischer
Advanced Praise for Undoll
In this deft and restless oeuvre on the enigma that is woman, Tanya Grae displays an expressive narrative mastery that's unusual in a debut. These resolute stanzas are alternately fierce and tender, served up with an addictive skill that inspires awe and roots the reader in stories so many of us are afraid to tell.
In Undoll, Tanya Grae draws on a multitude of clear images and cultural references to steady the roiling emotional drama underlying her poems. For her fortunate readers, the result is a mixture of literary artistry and human cries of desire, disappointment, and anger. This poet has found a new way to combine a lively, educated mind with the naked reality of the body.
Tanya Grae’s Undoll offers us a world where “every choice goes on forever,” “everywhere holds a mirror,” and “our whole is/ a fractal of everything.” Here mothers, daughters, and husbands possess a mirror’s unnerving ability not only to reflect but also to distort. Grae writes with such aptness of metaphor, such clarity of vision, that she reminds us, too, of the pleasures a mirror can hold: the seemingly endless iterations of the self, the capacity for transformation, and, yes, an abundance of light.
About Tanya Grae
Tanya Grae's debut collection of poems, Undoll, was a National Poetry Series finalist. Her work has appeared inAmerican Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, AGNI, New Ohio Review, Post Road, Poets.org, among other literary journals. The recipient of several awards, including two Academy of American Poets Prizes and the Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival Poetry Prize, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa, she holds an MFA in poetry and fiction from Bennington College. She lives in Tallahassee and teaches at Florida State University while finishing her PhD.