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Natural History
Rape Museum

Danielle Pafunda

December 2013
Trade Paper Original
ISBN: 978-0-9826587-5-8
80 pp. | $15.00



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“It feels good,” says Danielle Pafunda, “to conduct the world’s violence on the page. It’s my response to violence without doing or incurring much violence. It’s how I navigate through it.”

The fifth poetry collection by Danielle Pafunda, Natural History Rape Musuem centers around an unnamed speaker and her intimate/adversary, the fuckwad, in pieces interrupted (or violated) by their boxed-in titles. Further interrupting this narrative are a prose sequence and a menagerie of objects/animals/elements borne as totems by the speaker—a lump of coal, a stingray, a cord of wood, a wolf spider, an earthworm, the fly. The volume culminates in four linked essays on the subject of pain: The Bid for Pain, The Manner in Which Pain Becomes Me, Pain Beak-Pecks a Figurine, and Extraterrestrial Painsake.

Exploring the more grotesque corners of the Gurlesque aesthetic, in Natural History Rape Museum Pafunda ventriloquizes through the unstable identities of her characters to create creepy tableaux that resemble—despite their vivid, violent excesses—the world we know.


Danielle's second book, My Zorba, is also available from Bloof. (Check out the bundle deal here.)

Danielle Pafunda is the author of Natural History Rape Museum (Bloof Books, 2013), Manhater (Dusie Press, 2012), Iatrogenic: Their Testimonies (Noemi Press, 2010), My Zorba (Bloof Books 2008), and Pretty Young Thing (Soft Skull Press, 2005). Her poems have appeared in three editions of The Best American Poetry. Her work has been anthologized in Beauty Is a Verb: The Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011), Gurlesque: The New Grrly, Grotesque, Burlesque Poetics (Saturnalia Books, 2010), and Not for Mothers Only: Contemporary Poems on Child-Getting & Child Rearing (Fence Books, 2007). She is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wyoming.


Sample poems from Natural History Rape Museum:

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PRAISE FOR NATURAL HISTORY RAPE MUSEUM

If you, like me, abhor under-forty Pulitzer Gang-Banged Glamor Balls guzzling down official verse-culture jizz, then join me in Danielle Pafunda’s Natural History Rape Museum—no other book I know has so thoroughly shaken the fuckwad out of my pudenda, these violently subversive verses a lyrical tour deforce.

—Timothy Liu, Coldfront

Danielle Pafunda’s fifth book shows her at the top of her hilarious, furious game. One must reach for the oldest stories to describe the particular clawed, fanged, winged, and always female bodies of these texts. Pafunda’s poetry is always a spiky sonic treat, punching a tracheostomy in the throat of lyric convention so that the noise of erased, extinguished, and strangled women can come out.

—Joyelle McSweeney, Poetry Project Newsletter

Danielle Pafunda’s Natural History Rape Museum is a difficult and disturbing work, which exacted aesthetic and emotional violence upon my attentions. To then say I enjoyed it immensely may seem a perverse claim, but it’s nevertheless true. It recovers, for me, something of the ‘girl’—a rage just beneath and becoming, all that light and shimmer.

—Paula Mendoza, Michigan Quarterly Review

 

PREVIOUS REVIEWS

Lifting a page from Plath’s book of tricks, Pafunda comes out swinging.

Publishers Weekly

Her sexual and social frankness will remind you of the mid-period Anne Sexton, for like Sexton, Pafunda is rebelling against a system which has a name for everything except the things most important to a human, not to mention a woman.

—Kevin Killian

 

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