Life of the Party
Olivia Gatwood

Book cover image

Narrated By: Olivia Gatwood

Duration: 2 hours and 34 minutes

What to expect

Brought to you by Penguin.

A dazzling collection of raw and explosive poems from a thrilling new feminist voice.

In this multi-faceted collection of odes, anecdotes, sonnets and prose, Olivia Gatwood weaves together the trials and triumphs of growing up and explores the many ways that fear and violence can be internalized in a woman's psyche. At times blistering and riotous, at times soulful and exuberant, Life of the Party is about what it means to be a girl and a woman in today’s world and the challenge of briefly being both.

In powerful, piercingly candid language, Gatwood asks: How does one grow from a girl to a woman in a world wracked by violence? What happens to our bodies that make us who we are? Is this fear really irrational?


Poetry by individual poets, Literary studies: poetry & poets, Feminism & feminist theory, Gender studies: women & girls, Social discrimination & equal treatment

Listen to a sample

I am stirred by the poems in this book - it is a sharp, unflinching collection of poems about girlhood, wonder, casual everyday violence. Everything true - and disappointing. Memories that we recognize. Everything tragic, stunning, raw.

Yrsa Daley-Ward, author of 'bone' and 'The Terrible'

Olivia writes about the women who were forgotten and the men who got off too easy with an empathy and anger that yanked every emotion on the spectrum out of me. Her words can ‘make a crop top out of anything,’ and make you laugh, cry, and walk around the block three times, thinking ‘How did she do that?’ Imagine our luck, getting to live in the age of Olivia Gatwood. Goddamn.

Jamie Loftus

Ground-breaking and original poems that candidly face the complications of the female experience, that of negotiating an existence in a world that both excited and terrifies. Gatwood's writing unearths some of my deepest fears as a woman ... These poems – cautious, direct, brave – made me face uncomfortable truths, like all great poetry should.

Elaine Feeney, author of 'Rise'

Life of the Party is an electrifying collection of poems about the agonies and ecstasies of being a young woman.

Leigh Stein, author of 'Land of Enchantment'

Olivia Gatwood is a revolution of woman, a flurry of insight harnessing the language of self-assessment and acceptance. Her poems invite a contemporary understanding of sexuality and the feminine form, feminism and inclusion, intersection and advocacy. Her metaphors and images are both breath and being. This book is an offering to the silenced for firepower and reflection. A haystack of hallelujahs reside in these pages.