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Reviewed by Sierra Blasko for Readers' Favorite
Lady Death and Other Poems Venerating Change by Keath Silva is a collection of poetry on the subject of transition - specifically the transitional period many trans, genderqueer, and gender-expansive people experience as they bloom into their most authentic selves. It covers topics such as dysphoria, allyship, and healing from trauma. The book is billed as a moving and earthy collection of poems, and the intended audience is everyone - both those in the LGBTQIA+ community and those who seek to better understand the experience of their transgender and gender-expansive siblings.
From the first line, Keath Silva paints a picture of trans-ness as art, as a journey of making and unmaking and making again. With lines such as “…take hold/of my spine/to shake out the chunks/of frozen ash,” Silva displays a beautiful grasp of sensory imagery. Through simile and metaphor, the poems shine bright with every color of the rainbow, while emotionally they contain as much strength and anger, pain and grace, and heartache and healing in turn as their trans inspirations. There is a reverence for Lady Death, revealed in the titular poem and others throughout the collection, and it is a reverence that anyone who has ever passed through a season of change in their life will surely resonate with. This is a thoroughly enjoyable collection and an excellent poetic primer on the trans experience.