In September my second book (2008), For Girls & Other Poems, was redesigned/reissued for its tenth birthday! It’s now available with a new cover, updated interior design, and a few minor corrections. Here’s the new look:
Praise for For Girls
“This technique always has exactly a feminist cunning, and always a feminist heritage (the Baronness, Acker). We steal shit. It’s not okay. This is a book made from elegant defiance.” —Anne Boyer
“There were a lot a terrific books in 2007, but this was by far one of my FAVORITES! Incorporating the antique book (and antique ideas) for girls. If you don’t buy this book you can only IMAGINE what I mean!” —CAConrad
“Though Shanna Compton’s second full-length book will probably get noticed first for its quasi-gender studies focus, the ironic tone and muscularly discursive lines of For Girls (& Others) mark it as first-rate poetry first, a lesson in articulating individual identity in a public sphere. Compton owns her project—a kind of contemporary primer for girls that, in revealing how far we’ve come, indicates we haven’t strayed far enough from the ideas of the 19th-century handbook that serves as impetus for some of the poems. Luckily, we have Compton’s voice to help guide us. Lingustic virtuosity is a solid draw as well. Those who’ve read Compton’s first collection, Down Spooky, already know her to be adept at torquing language in a way that reveals not simply multiple meanings, but multiple registers. Throughout, Compton uses syntax and lineation to provide some of the punch. Simultaneously reverent and irreverent, For Girls (& Others) is a complex work on identity and the forces we all work against to assert it.” —Rain Taxi
About the book
Includes portions of the following public domain artwork and advertising: Bacchante with Ape (1627, Hendrick ter Brugghen, digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program), Yardley English Complexion Cream ad (1948, as it appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal), Endocreme ad (1948, as it appeared in Life).
For Girls (Part One)
“Preface” is lifted verbatim from For Girls: A Special Physiology, by Mrs. E. R. Shepherd, an popular health manual for girls and young women first published in 1882 by Fowler & Wells and reprinted through the 1890s in more than twenty subsequent editions. The worn, mustard-yellow, hardbound copy that inspired my parody is a gift from my mother, who found it funny when she ran across it in an antique store. An 1891 edition is available online at <http://iiif.lib.harvard.edu/manifests/view/drs:2573459$1i>. Though they are not found poems, most of the rest of the pieces in this sequence borrow their titles and/or other phrases from the same book, heavily remixed and freely recontextualized.
Comedy of Manners (Part Two)
The poems in this section also frequently beg, borrow, or steal, from sources ranging the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries: gardening manuals, adventure periodicals, sermons, etiquette books, religiously inflected medical texts, promotional pamphlets for household products, a clip art catalog, art criticism, newspapers, and the Internet.
You can get it from Bloof Books here.
If you’d like a signed copy, I’m always happy to do that. Email me. Since much of this book’s awful advice is aimed at teen girls & young women, it would make an apt gift for a niece or daughter who’s into words, especially if she’s got a sense of humor & a strong sense of herself. (She has.)