Paige Quiñones’s incisive debut poetry collection, winner of the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Prize, investigates the trauma of desire. Quiñones’s lyric world is populated with stark dualities: procreation and childlessness, predator and prey, mania and depression. A hunter pursues an ill-fated fox through the woods; heaven is paved with girls who would rather drown than be born; a couple returns from their honeymoon to find a stagnant pond in their marriage bed. Through navigating these duplexities, Quiñones arrives at a version of femininity that is at once fierce and crystalline, and unmistakably her own. She writes, “My reflection can only growl back, in water or oil-slick or silver. This is an exercise in forgiveness. I dip my feet in.” The Best Prey charts the complexity of hunger in vivid, visceral terms, and ultimately arrives at a sense of self that encompasses the contradictions of sensuality, violence, and power.
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