by Amelia Díaz Ettinger
In Self Dissection, Amelia Díaz Ettinger takes an anatomical journey through the physical body to find answers about heritage, environment, family, and the nature of being an immigrant. The poems in these pages are written in a crisp pen like in an anatomical text, yet still allows the lyrical and metaphor to scrape the surfaces of the physical reality that is underneath, that ethereal something that is so often hard to embody.
Early Praise for Self Dissection:
Compelling, elegant, and remarkably honest, Self-Dissection is filled with stark, realistic poems that paint an intimate portrait of love, loss, family, identity, and the ever-present need for empathy. In these vibrant poems of nature and biography, Ettinger showcases a true talent for imbuing the smallest human details with authenticity and layered meanings. Each poem maps out the human heart, in all its internal conflicts, with precision and grace. Overflowing with vivid and accessible language, Self-Dissection is both intellectually stimulating and emotionally engaging.
—John Sibley Williams
author of Skyscrape and The Drowning House
In Self Dissection, the poet interrogates self, trying to grasp, both in corporeal and ethical terms, what being alive in a body means, intrinsically and in terms of external perceptions. There is a morbid satisfaction/ in this intimacy of self with self, but circumstances affect representation. I want somehow to fit/ in this olive brown skin, the speaker affirms, and, in another poem, this skin, with its five million pores bares me open. What does being The Other imply? Dull-faced immigrant’ carries a face of fear. In the end, Amelia Díaz Ettinger demonstrates how we assert our own meanings made manifest through our choices as we travel through life in our very personal bodies.
—A. Molotkov, author of Future Symptoms
and The Catalog of Broken Things
About the Author:
Born in Mexico and raised in Puerto Rico, Amelia Díaz Ettinger has written poems that reflect the struggle with identity often found in immigrants. She began writing poetry at age three, dictating poems out loud to the adults in her life who wrote them down for her. Amelia continued writing poems and short stores throughout her life, while working as a high school science and Spanish teacher. She is the author of Learning to Love a Western Sky, Speaking at a Time/Hablando a la Vez, and Fossils on a Red Flag. Her poems, essays, and short stories have appeared in many journals, reviews, and anthologies. She recently earned an MFA in Creative Writing. Presently, she lives in Eastern Oregon with her partner, two dogs, two cats, and way too many chickens.