Split is an exquisite collection. These poems, haunting and life affirming, explore the body with ferocity and preciousness, at its most raw and precise. The melody of this body of work is eloquent and intimate calling us to witness the surrender and prayer-scream to an absent God, to messy family relations and to a literal hunger to consume the other with an intention not always offered the characters in this dish. The intensity left my cheeks flushed and grateful for the gift of this gothic femme poetics. What a powerful offering—a balm for the longing and living.
Maya Chinchilla, author of The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética
What’s a poem to god? What’s a god to a mom? What’s a parent to a non-believer? Benavides summons these questions with a sharpened rosary dipped in blood ink, half relic and half stake that meets the eyes with each poem that drives it into the heart of the matter: a riot girl is weaponized cavalry in herself. In a testament of poems wrestling the multitudes and facets of religion, daughterhood, sex, and ________ through candid language, Benavides’s collection is an amalgamation of intense empathy and sorrow – not as a cause for alarm – but as intent to move and reclaim Self. These poems reveal to the lovers and past selves the balancing of one’s inner light and darkness. The poems ask exhuming question-statements and answer back regarding our honest-to-goodness ungodliness.
Janice Lobo Sapigao, author of Microchips for Millions
Denise Benavide’s writing is pure fire. The fire of rage, the fire of love, the fire of bodies refusing to shut up or sit still. From the flames the stories of mothers and daughters and lovers forge new voices and identities, with teeth and tears and tenderness. We need this book urgently. There is no other now.
Lidia Yuknavitch, award-winning author of The Chronology of Water and The Small Backs of Children