The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett


This selection, chosen by guest curator Addie Tsai, is from Look Alive by Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, released by Southeast Missouri State University Press in 2021. 

Before the Body

We weren’t yet homely—no one had noted
if baby fat melted off or took up residence,
whether we’d grown into our noses. Calves,
regardless of shapeliness, propelled us into
chlorinated depths. Only later did skin begin
to cling like a damp suit we had to claw off.
Then, we learned to favor the deck chair
rotisserie—book artfully open, slats slicing
into our backs. And forgot the deep end—
how we’d hold our breath and float above
the drain, gaze up at the distorted world.


Luiza Flynn-Goodlett is the author of Look Alive—a finalist for numerous prizes, including The National Poetry Series, and winner of the 2019 Cowles Poetry Book Prize from Southeast Missouri State University Press—along with seven chapbooks, most recently The Undead, winner of Sixth Finch Books’ 2020 Chapbook Contest, and Shadow Box, winner of the 2019 Madhouse Press Editor’s Prize. Her poetry can be found in TriQuarterly, Third Coast, Pleiades, and elsewhere. She also serves as editor-in-chief of the Whiting Award–winning LGBTQ+ literary journal Foglifter.

Addie Tsai (any/all) is a queer nonbinary artist and writer of color. They collaborated with Dominic Walsh Dance Theater on Victor Frankenstein and Camille Claudel, among others. Addie holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and a PhD in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. She is the author of the queer Asian young adult novel Dear TwinUnwieldy Creatures, their adult queer biracial retelling of Frankenstein, is forthcoming from Jaded Ibis Press in 2022. They are the Fiction Co-Editor at Anomaly, Staff Writer at Spectrum South, and Founding Editor & Editor in Chief at just femme & dandy.

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