After Taste




Cook, Courtney

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This collection of poetry discusses a female adult reflecting on her survival of an adult reproductive cancer that she suffered as a child, as well as her reflection of her adult female body. She struggles with the understanding of losing her ability to bear children due to uterine cancer prior to the age of understanding what it means to bear a child, as she also struggles with anorexia. The poems have two prominent characters, referred to as “I” and “she” by the speaker, who are essentially the same woman. The poems where the speaker speaks as herself (I) are more reflective of the author’s autobiographical representation of her experience with cancer treatment. The poems where the speaker references a ‘”she” reflect more precisely on the main female character as an objectification. The mentioning of Eve refers to the biblical character. The manuscript discusses the idea of childbirth as a “curse” due to Eve’s inability to refuse the “fruit” when tempted by the serpent. The prominent female character (she or I) struggles with her understanding of her fate in relation to the fate of the first woman. Many references to water, whales and sharks stem from childhood experiences as well as dreams.


This work was embargoed by the author and will not be publicly available until April 2020.


Cancer, Feminine, Shark, Sea