Girls Like You
Girls Like You is a compilation of more than fifty poems that cover a wide array of life issues set within feminine themes. Douaihy includes a good handful of new and unpublished work amid poems that first appeared in previous books, such as her chapbook entitled I Would Ruby If I Could. Other earlier works first appeared in literary reviews, magazines, and organizations, such as The Sow’s Review, The Madison Review, The New Guard Review, The Moth Magazine, Catamaran Literary Reader, Belle Rêve Literary Journal: Editor’s Choice, The Common, Big Bridge, Philadelphia Stories, and Ducts.
Rising poet extraordinaire Margot Douaihy creates a powerful tapestry in her recent poetry anthology. A mix of principally free verse and prose, Douaihy has divided her poems into five unnamed sections, each introduced with simple one-object depictions produced by award-winning scratchboard illustrator Bri Hermanson. While her sketches reflect aspects of Douaihy’s poetry, Hermanson’s visual imagery conveys to readers a stronger thematic connection in Douaihy’s presentation than what might otherwise be construed as random writings.
Indeed, the bulk of Douaihy’s poems expound on lesbianism. But it is imperative to look further into her messages, because Douaihy zeroes in on themes that are common among ALL people. Although Douaihy speaks on different aspects of love – infatuation and sexual love – much of her themes center on everyday life: its joys and sorrows, familial struggles and strained relationships, and traveling. What is most intriguing about Douaihy’s thematic development is the mental imagery of a person who is restless and seemingly caught in a bubble of inner turmoil and one who desperately wants to be defined for her individuality, which comes to a final resolve. Douaihy deftly stitches together all these complexities into an imagery that undoubtedly has the ability to touch a core within all adult readers.
Amid Douaihy’s thematic imagery, she does a stellar job in keeping her readers engaged by including topics that may appear random, but lean toward the very edge-of-ever-so-slightly connected, such as a longish work on bandit queen Belle Starr, and dark (almost malevolent) themes, such as “Maidservant” and “Confession.” Also unique to her anthology structure, Douaihy includes poems set to a villanelle and a triolet, as well as ones that are aesthetically designed to be eye catchers, such as “Ten Word Love Stories,” “Rock,” and “Neither.”
Beautifully presented and quite thought-provoking, Girls Like You is not only a refreshing addition to LGBTQ literature, but also a collection that speaks to all who seek introspection.
Clemson University Press