"Dimitra Xidous is truly a delicious writer. She feasts upon the body in Keeping Bees. A strong, unique voice; at times, a young Aristotle and that obsession with natural process, at times her tones are that of the sharp artist palette of Bishop, but more often laced with a sensual evocation of a female Neruda. This voice is as strong and unique as any young poet writing in English today. I was left breathless. Astounding originality, Xidous is fearless" - Elaine Feeney
Keeping Bees (Doire Press, 2014)
"To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves" - Federico Garcia Lorca
The work in Keeping Bees is concerned with the body; it is a collection about the body and love, about the body in and out of love. It draws on time and place, and place in time – of three years living in Greece as a child, and seeing death in a claw, ‘her mouth sharp and yellow’; of 5 weeks living in Madrid as a woman in my early 30s, giving myself away to the city, in every way, and the city, the city giving herself away to me too; of being in Dublin, and re(membering) the best peach I've ever had, a peach that came all the way from British Columbia. In these, and other ways, Keeping Bees is concerned with the body; the body there, and then; the body in time, and the body in place, in place in time. The collection is a record of how the body takes up space; and it is also a record, in another way: Keeping Bees is a record of falling in love (a record of, a testimony in fact: "love is equal parts honey and sting, and where love rumbles/bodies sound like beehives"). Keeping Bees is a collection of bodies - dogs and horses, cockroaches and bees, figs and peaches - and the body in, and the body out, in and out of love: "the shenanigans of intimacy boil down to what/passes between two people when their mouths are open/and desire hangs like a dog's tongue". To purchase a copy, please visit doirepress.com
In 2014, I was the Featured Poet in The Stinging Fly's Spring Issue. To accompany this feature, as well as the publication of Keeping Bees, I was invited to write an essay about the collection, and how I brought it altogether - Keeping Bees and The Body (or why I will never fuck a man who is not a feminist) .
All about the cover: Ria Czerniak-Lebov climbed into my head and when she came out, she made the most beautiful cover for Keeping Bees. It is everything I ever could have wanted; it is everything it should be: lush, sensual, full of bees and peaches (oh, there is a story here, or two) - an anatomically correct heart, and a cockroach, or two (and oh, there is a story here too, all about what it is to have a cockroach heart). For more on Ria, and her work, you can click here (and here, too).