A Childhood Filled with Doubt and Loss Is Explored in Lizzie Harris’s “Stop Wanting”
Lizzie Harris’s debut poetry collection Stop Wanting is a visceral exploration of the anxiety, trauma, and vulnerability that pervaded her childhood. Harris’s pieces revolve around a daughter whose father alternates between violence and kindness, and her poems address the trauma she experiences at his hands as she reflects on their relationship–or lack thereof–that still envelopes every aspect of her life. While often bleak and violent, her poetry is also peppered with vibrant and beautiful imagery. The effect of this is a reading experience that allows you to re-live Harris’s own harrowing childhood as well as enjoy the beautiful lyrical poetry that she creates.
Some of the vivid imagery that can be found in Harris’s work is the equation of Arizona with her body. From the scorching desert to describing her skin that is stretched out too tightly across her skeleton, her words are haunting but real. In the end, while Harris’ work is quite depressing, her beautiful imagery will speak to you, evoking an emotional experience like none other.