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What It Feels Like for a Girl is a series of poems following the intense friendship between two teenagers as they explore pop icons, pornography, and the big, strange world of sex. They soon learn just how complicated sexuality is--and how confusing desire can be.
What It Feels Like for a Girl is about many things: the friendships girls have at the most intense times in their lives. Pornography and its “lessons” for the young woman who has never experienced sex in an unfiltered way. What sex and love have to do with each other--if anything. How so many things in this world are two things at once (thirteen is both young and old, Madonna is both the virgin and the whore, pornography is both arousing and terrifying). How teenage girls (like pornography, literature, art) hold a mirror up to the world and show it its true, beautiful, and ugly face.
Praise for What It Feels Like for a Girl:
“Smart, brave, hard-edged, and a little frightening…Jennica Harper offers a compassionate glimpse into the turbulent lives of teenaged girls. May this book find its way to school libraries. May it find itself in the hands of every young person who ever wondered What It Feels Like for a Girl.” (Elizabeth Bachinsky, Governor General's Award Nominee for Home of Sudden Service)
"This is something refreshing: a portrait of female sexuality not undone by squeamish delivery or euphemistic evasions. Sex is fun, funny, silly, horrifying and irresistible in these poems. The poetic format allows the subject to emerge organically (orgasmic-ly?), true to girlhood, and true to nature..." (Gillian Wigmore, Northern Poetry Review)
“... Rather than theoretical ideals, this fictive narrative folds in individual, idiosyncratic felt-experience, and in the telling and her negotiation of complexities, in her marvellous use of language and rhyme, Harper is sure, wondrous, wise, musical and winning.”(Herizons)
Poetry in Transit selection (poem from the book displayed on Vancouver city buses)
Adapted for theatre by Vancouver's innovative Electric Company
- Anvil Press, September 2008
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