ADVANCE PRAISE for WAS BODY (Indolent Books, 2020):

Reading Was Body provided a jolt I didn’t realize I needed. Using tropes of iteration and erasure, medical mythologies, nude portraiture, phantasmagoria, and “theme and variation” on phrases ranging from “cellar door” to “lighter fluid,” Billie R. Tadros bewitches us with language’s associative properties. Fun House Mirror Sonnets? Here. The emotional semantics of Hollandaise sauce? Here. These are poems of loss and reckoning; yet these nimble poems also claim life, in tooth and claw, and the possibilities of love. “A ferris wheel spelling/appellations,” a speaker observes, “bulb color.” I’m grateful to take the ride.

— Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves

It feels dangerous to build an entire collection around a single love affair, but Tadros is willing to take the risk. As she writes, “Most fever has reason, and so / there is cause for heat.” And in her collection Was Body, she mines that heat—the highs and lows, the desperate longings and the even more desperate fulfillments of those longings—to create a collection that circles, echoes, and twists. Fraught with the themes of obsession, suicide, and self-harm, the book nonetheless contains moving love poems, the best of which are tight sonnets that recall the power of Marilyn Hacker’s intimate portraits of two women in love and in bed. But like all good love stories, this one casts long shadows, into which Tadros steps with an eerie comfort: “you can/elegize the dying with their own/words, I’ve been wearing yours/as a veil.”

— Keetje Kuipers, author of All Its Charms

This invigorating collection brings such stark & stellar clarity to the language of grief that it’s sometimes difficult to know if Tadros is deftly flexing in magical realism or we’re finally encountering a poet who can give it to us straight. Either way, Was Body remains a fresh & haunting reintroduction to the corporeal form as a wilderness for word play & reclamation.

— Meg Day, author of Last Psalm at Sea Level


Billie R. Tadros is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Theatre  at the University of Scranton. She earned her Ph.D. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and her M.F.A. in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College, and she is a graduate of the Writers Institute at Susquehanna University. She is the author of three books of poems, Graft Fixation (forthcoming from Gold Wake Press, 2021), Was Body (forthcoming from Indolent Books, 2020) and The Tree We Planted and Buried You In (Otis Books, 2018), and three chapbooks, Am/Are I (forthcoming from Francis House Publishing), inter: burial places (Porkbelly Press, 2016), and Containers (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her work has appeared, or will appear, in The Boiler, Black Warrior Review, Bone Bouquet, The Collapsar, Crab Fat Magazine, Entropy, Fairy Tale Review, Gigantic Sequins, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Horse Less Review, Kindred, Lavender Review, Menacing Hedge, No Tokens, phoebe, pnk prl, r.kv.r.y., Tupelo Quarterly, White Stag Journal, Wicked Alice, Word Riot, and others, and in the anthologies Bearers of Distance (Eastern Point Press, 2013), Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2013), and The Queer South (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014). 

She is currently working on a narrative research project exploring the gendered implications of traumatic injuries to self-identified women runners, and seeking to articulate a feminist injury poetics.

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