Review of prizewinning collection by Kellan River Williams

Vic Pickup reviews YNYGORDNA for Sphinx Reviews

Contrasting for emphasis

This is a brave, fierce collection of ‘warrior’ poems. Its pages filled with a rainbow of emotions, Ynygordna (‘androgyny’ spelt backwards) explores ‘gender, sexuality and love within and against societal expectations’, says the V. Press website. The juxtaposition of hate and anger with the safety of pure, fluid love, is what sustains this work: I felt the contrast drew me in, and amplified the anguish communicated through the poems.

The shocking language used is not for wimps. In ‘getting over it’, Williams writes:

un-fucking-believable. wormed into by a psycho.
creamed in me as if I asked for it.

This image is both disturbing and brilliant. The poet swears for emphasis to highlight her shocking treatment, and the discrimination faced by the non-binary, as shown in ‘to all the greasy men in bushwackers’:

What are you going to do, spike my drink now?
Call me a fucking lezza?

Read full review here

Kellan wrote about the collection HERE

“The wonderful thing I found about using the third gender pronoun in my collection was how easily it slotted into everything I wanted to say. The sound of the word was close enough to binary pronouns such as ‘her’ and ‘their’ that it didn’t even need explaining once people start reading. The sound of the ‘v’ was almost softer and more suited for poetic use, which I think is beautiful. The whole collection is dedicated to the portrayal of queer sex, relationships and the many incredibly taboo faces of gender identity waiting to uncovered for the world to see. It’s so important we talk about this as a community.”

Buy a copy here

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