Hamline News

Ann Tweedy: The Body's Alphabet


The Body's Alphabet by Ann Tweedy
Published by Headmistress Press
Publication date: July 25, 2016
Poetry, 108 pages
Order the book from the publisher


"Ann Tweedy’s collection The Body’s Alphabet is a book of in-betweens–in-between homes, in-between loves, in-between sexualities. It is a book about motherhood and memory, and the space we keep for our childhood long after we have grown up around it."

Read the full review by Rebecca Valley at Drizzle Review.

Other news

Ann's poem, "Rescue," was just nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Headmistress Press. 

Read an interview with Ann at Queen Mob's Teahouse.
Hear Ann read her poem, "Nature Essay," at Rattle.
Watch Ann read at "Two Idiots Peddling Poetry."

Some of the Praise

“Home is the structure you build when nowhere else will have you,” writes Ann Tweedy in this gutsy, no-nonsense collection of poems built on a precarious and often tender journey through homes no longer available to return to. The result is neither sadness nor nostalgia; it is hard, clean narrative of self-preservation and survival, fitted with unexpected joy. I feel such kinship with these poems, their testament to the strength and determination of women and men who struggle to build life anew, and to find home and happiness in a world of travail. What a blessed space this book is: a home for the wayward soul.
—D.A. PowellAmerican Poet 

Ann Tweedy’s first book is a brave and honest examination of liminality. In delicate lyrics she confesses to trespass, asking readers to question the boundaries between acts and identity, sexuality and family. The Body’s Alphabet documents the poet’s courage, living openly as a bisexual feminist. Although childhood logic taught her that “home is the structure / you build when nowhere else will have you,” these beautiful poems knit and nest safe haven for a life spent gathering freedom.
—Carol Guess, author of Doll Studies: Forensics

What made me sit down and read The Body’s Alphabet, cover to cover, in a single evening? Perhaps it is the way that I know, in Ann Tweedy’s poems, I will find the unvarnished truth, and a voice with “the drowsed freedom to talk about anything.” And I know I will find that truth compassionately rendered, details delicately arranged like the flowers of the “dutiful and stubborn” forsythia of which she writes. This is a book about finding homes for ourselves—homes for our adult selves, even as complex memories of our childhood homes still live inside us; homes for our bodies; homes in the natural world. Tweedy’s vision is both hopeful and wise.
—Katrina Vandenberg, author of Atlas and The Alphabet Not Unlike the World


about the author

Ann Tweedy's first full-length book, The Body’s Alphabet, was published by Headmistress Press in August. She also has published two chapbooks: Beleaguered Oases (CreativePress, 2010) and White Out (Green Fuse Press, 2013). 

Her poetry has appeared in Clackamas Literary Review, Rattle, damselfly press, Lavender Review, literary mama, Harrington Lesbian Literary Quarterly, and elsewhere. Ann is currently an MFA student in Hamline’s Creative Writing Program. 

Originally from Southeastern Massachusetts, she has lived in many places on the West Coast and in the Midwest and now makes her home in Washington State. In addition to writing poetry and essays, she is a law professor and a practicing attorney who represents Indian Tribes.

Learn more about Ann's work at her Poets & Writers page: Ann Tweedy.