Synonyms for (OTHER) Bodies

by Daryl Sznyter

116 Pages, 6 x 9

Library of Congress Control Number:  2018930053

ISBN:  978-1-63045-055-7

Publication Date:  03/24/2018

Press Release

HD Cover for Reviews

Cover Art:  Front and Back Cover Illustrations
by Barry Barosky


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With each poem in her debut collection, Synonyms for (Other) Bodies, Daryl Sznyter peels back one of the tender, horrific, humorous, and often magical veils through which we view ourselves, others, and the collective "We" that for better or worse, comprises the human race. The core she exposes may differ from person to person, but the unforgettable images—from a couple's tender moment at the gynecologist to a mother-daughter bonding experience at a concert—will fracture and restructure every reader's bones.


Daryl Sznyter has a dancer's love of mirrors, a knack for placing reflective words in just such a way as to capture the body's language—its poses, angles, repeated gestures of ecstasy and distress. Her work offers a fierce feminist romanticism drawing on such figures as Bettie Page, Marie Laveau, and a virgin who asks the angel Gabriel to "take me/ raw" and "wear/ out my knees." I see these poems as an antidote to our age of digital disembodiment. They return us to our senses with a cruel yet tender grace. This is a brave, edgy, and truly impressive debut collection.

—Elaine Equi

Daryl Sznyter pirouettes onto the poetry stage with a spellbinding first collection of poems. In this Black Swan's hands, she flicks machetes. From the courageously blasphemous opening poem to the sad and terrifying woman-as-scapegoat of the final poem, Sznyter’s poetry insists on the centrality of emotion in life and on women’s abilities to help us realize the enormous responsibility that goes along with this truth. As the title suggests, however, these poems are about bodies, too, particularly female bodies. The book dares you to expect an apology for its diction, regularly using words like "womb," "menses," "uterus" and its bold explorations of all that goes with living in a female body: IUD insertion, finding the right bra, trying to avoid being raped, fighting laws that prescribe patriarchal values. It is upsetting, delightful, inspiring, and most of all empowering to read this gorgeously written book.

—Amanda J. Bradley

This is a remarkable debut, electric and alien, a bold dance through a visceral world. Its lithe arms draw us toward brokenness and rebellion, scars and family, ballet and a bloody, beautiful heart, where "even anarchy/can be tender." The first truly riveting book I've read this year.

—John Struloeff