From Small Distribution Press: “Anastacia Reneé's FORGET IT draws the reader into the churning seas of dissolution — marriage, family, identity, livelihood — in language unknotted from the constraints of punctuation, syntax, sense— "eaten into seedless cherries"—and plunged into the fabular scape/scope of dreams, myth, fairytales, faith, race. Phantom births, ghosts, half-grown children, sex, betrayal, violence, anger, female body, the bloody aftermaths of dissolution sprawling, placental and umbilical, in the urgent, haunted language of dreaming and memory. City and speaker dissolve into one another, boundaries vanquished. What remains after dissolution? Talking to herself. From whence do (k)new form(s) arise? A "revelatory hymn", matrix upon which self and sense are (re-)configured as her own, Anastacia Reneé's FORGET IT dances on the grave of the lost—fiery tempest, a phoenix of language and presence. When we wake up, nothing is forgotten.”
“Anastacia Renée’s somber, shrewd and sensually detailed romp through a field of landmines definitively shatters both the predictability of genre and the limits of lyric. These fierce vignettes, crafted to confront, are too restless and urgent to behave while considering their impact. Instead, they meld into a story we can’t turn away from, one that—if you need to slap it with a name—could be called poetry. But Forget It (which is all but impossible to forget) isn’t simply poetry. What it is is simply inevitable.” — Patricia Smith
“This book feels like an entirely new invention. I don’t even want to call it a book. I want to call it a thick-paint impressionist new word-reality, a documentation of whatever blush invented the first word. “…you picture yourself as a child seeing the color green for the first time.” Anastacia Renée does just that, reinvents her reader as this child. This book is, to me, the color green for the first time. About this book, I feel something like what I imagine onlookers must have felt when they first witnessed the Wright brothers thrust air under wing to leave the ground.” — Tara Hardy
“In Forget it, Anastacia Renee’s new poetry collection, movement is subterranean and celestial in one breath. The lives of mothers and babies, women and girls turn the womb outward to uncover the traumas of birth and loss, love and grief. Using multiple identities and voices, the social world of appearance, judgement, identity and relationship is superimposed against the demands of woman-ness—a critique, a disruption and a declaration of the self. Renee’s interweaving is relentless, and the interwork of prose, poetry, footnotes, dialogic, and declarations, create a new symphonic awareness of how women’s lives are intrinsically bonded to the internal. Some meta-, some stream-of-consciousness, some lyric and narrative, the movements invade the senses and interrupt the intellectual to initiate an atomic space where the elements converge. This collection is heart-pounding and dynamic. Reneé words emanate at a high absorption rate that leaves the heart pounding as we release assumptions and give into the simultaneity of understanding and liberation.” —Elmaz Abinader
Review: “Anastacia-Reneé Is Doing Something Almost No Writers Do: Publishing Three Books in One Year” The Stranger
Review from Black Radish Books
From Small Distribution Press: “In 1974, when Ntozake Shange first released the cannon of Black girl magic known as For colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf, her opening stanza was a call to all of us.
sing a black girl's song
bring her out
to know herself ."
This book is answer to that call.
What is sacred, what is beauty, what is tragedy, what rites of passage have we endured to be initiated into the complexities of our humanity? Anastacia-Reneé's words frame so many questions, read like ritual, read like nursery rhymes, invoke ancestors and Becky alike in a nuanced honest reflection of this time in life.
Using a reimagined alphabet, Anastacia-Reneé sets about taking on everything from love to cancer, monsters, growing up, growing into our bodies, and the ways in which even our bodies are not our own. Her words define and redefine, explore hidden truths and expose the lies we are raised with.
These poems are stories of blackness, of queerness, of womanhood and the combination of all the identities we hold externally and internally that create the tapestry of who we are and who we want to be.”
Praise for (v.)
“Anastacia-Reneé's (v.) broils the alphabet with accents of Zora and bobby pins and tangled braids; she is busy here melding a blackgirl womansong with a backbeat of black jesus and barbie heads; she is weaving a ghosted blues of cop cars and sparrow eyes; she is translating a language of pain to a semaphore of power. Open these pages and "un-fly yourself/ upward to the moonlight/ christen your feet/ within a wrecked nest..." and witness a unique voice that has come into its own.” — Tyehimba Jess
“The titles alone suggest the inventiveness of this terrific new book: “An Incomplete Inventory of What You Are Made of," "Essay Test Questions," "Psalms from a 16-Year-Old’s Life Bible." The poems of Anastacia-Reneé synthesize voice and body; prayer and meditation; politics and play; love and sexuality. Even poetic form is synthesized with monologues, glossaries, prose, and fragments. The lyrical, conceptual and formal experiments of (v.) are daring and breathtaking. This is a wonderful collection.” — Terrance Hayes
Review: “Linguistic Gymnast” City Arts
Review: “Anastacia-Reneé Is Ubiquitous and Worth It” Seattle Weekly
Answer(Me) is a renegade prayer to the goddess of transparent lust. Only open this book if you’re ready to imagine desire as an opening, a closing, a readiness to risk, a breaking of language, a gasp of recognition, a heaving, a help- lessness, a freefall, a flying, a craving, a decompression, an explosion, a seesaw on a spaceship, and a river flowing backwards into your heart. The possibility of failure creates limitless passion, Anastacia Renee tells us, so we open our mouths to let everything in.
—Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, author of The End of San Francisco and Sktetchtasy
...the truth is that Anastacia-Renee is relentless. She reads all over town and advocates for other writers. She experi- ments in plays, visual art, and nonfiction. Until recently she was the Poet in Residence at the Hugo House, making her expertise available to aspiring authors with regular office hours and special appointments. Anastacia-Renee’s restlessness shows up on the page, too. She has written under a number of aliases over the years, and her work investigates the question of identity—race, sexuality, community—in nearly every poem. She is frag- mented, and she is mighty, and she is a force of nature. She’s exactly the kind of writer we need to see posted on eve- ry corner of the city right now.
—Paul Constant SeattleWeekly.com
dear kiss gods let me be kissed right through myself. as if my lips do not exist as if give & take does not matter. as if it is all one mouth. as if it is all waterfall & terracotta. paris & sankofa. kismet & rumi.
we kissed as if we did not (matter). as if our lips & tongues were bass on a bbq juneteenth. as if there were no teeth barrier for what it was we were not trying to say. (it does not matter)
let every mouth bare the weight/wait or let every tongue confess the possibility of redemption. or kiss repent kiss repent kiss repent kiss repent kiss repent kiss
as if lips were no
*dear readers unfortunately i cannot tell you the amount of times we repented. for those of you who are into details i will tell you more than 300 times. & if you have ever had a lover or you are a mathy-lover you know that 100 kisses in 30 days at 3 times a day is an (average).