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Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies

by Danielle Pafunda




Danielle Pafunda’s third collection Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies is a glittering gloaming sci-fi pregnancy epic. It takes place in half-light and lullaby, blaze and shiver. The poems owe a debt to Margaret Atwood, Matthew Derby, Donna Haraway, Edgar Lee Masters, and Monique Wittig, among others, but this book is an animal unto itself. A collaborative of women quits our world for a compound of its own making. They conjure and impregnate cyborg surrogates. We hear from these women, their surrogates, and a small band of renegades. Lacunae abound, history rears, death and its vicious proxy loss stalk. All are perched, maggot visionaries and at the same time most regular.

About the Author

Danielle Pafunda is the author of Natural History Rape Museum (Bloof Books, 2013), Manhater (Dusie Press, 2012), Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies (Noemi Press, 2010), My Zorba (Bloof Books 2008), and Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull Press, 2005). Her poems have appeared in three editions of Best American Poetry. Her work has been anthologized in Beauty is a Verb: The Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011), Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, burlesque poetics (Saturnalia Books, 2010) and Not for Mothers Only: Contemporary Poems on Child-Getting & Child-Rearing (Fence Books, 2007). She is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and English at the University of Wyoming.



Somewhere between Sylvia Plath’s ice-box babies and Joseph Beuys’s mammalian trinkets, Danielle Pafunda‘s gothic sci-fi tale stutters, twitches and contorts its body-turned-collection-of-souvenirs-from-an-awkward-year. The tourniquet is confused with the leg, not so much to subvert the distinction between the natural and unnatural as to present a world where the decoy is more than real.

Johannes Göransson

Danielle Pafunda‘s Iatrogenic is that rare book for which we can never be ready. It is a fat valise of incendiary poems. Where has it come from? How should I know? Perhaps Lady Pafunda wrested this language from birds. In any case, she has infected me and recruited me with her ‘thick sting of pleasure.’ There is nothing extinct about her.

Rachel Zucker