Bad Anatomy

Hannah Cohen
ISBN: 978-0-9975805-7-0
24 pages

Hannah Cohen is a poet who isn't afraid. Cohen's chapbook starts off with an inverse aubade, the last line digging a knife into my heart, "I leave/nothing." The rest of the chapbook follows suit, except Cohen leaves a lot. Cohen leaves my heart, my lungs, my brain, my kidneys, my mouth full with everything I can muster to feel. Cohen wonderfully brings us into the grotesqueness of the modern world and the internet with its fast-paced ability to give us information and experiences ("Today I learned there are babies/born with their intestines/outside their little baby bellies./I don't know how I spent/three hours on Google"). She does this in a way that feels real and original, lending her voice out into the world.

— Joanna C. Valente, author of Marys of the Sea & editor of A Shadow Map: Writing by Survivors of Sexual Assault

"Here, I see only what isn't / and isn't us," Hannah Cohen writes in Bad Anatomy, and yet this chapbook is full to bursting with dark fantasy and whim, from "galaxy-flavored vodka" to "a green glass / bottle inside your stomach" that's "never going to stop breaking." A poet of self-deprecation, these darkly humorous poems provide an unyielding glimpse into the anxieties of selfhood, and the ways that the imagination functions as a fool-proof escape: "Inhabiting a body is easy. But living / in one? … I'm not / Hannah tonight. She's only the crow in my ribcage." With Cohen, readers will learn all the ways we betray ourselves, and then forgive ourselves.

— Emilia Phillips, author of Empty Clip

Hannah Cohen is a strong new voice the poetry community needs. The speaker of these poems is a woman haunted by her own vulnerabilities, a woman creating the strength-shield she needs to navigate and survive this life. To protect herself. How true these poems reflect the nature of merely existing in a world in which everything seems stacked against you, even your own self: "This red/ without life, and I can't stop the betrayal" (from "Upon Starting My Period After the Election"). Couple this with the "I myself am half-hell/ and half-morning" of "Self- Portrait as Grendel" and you have the duality of living, the ping-pong of doubt and persistence.

— Kolleen Carney Hoepfner, author of Your Hand Has Fixed the Firmament

Sample poem from Bad Anatomy:

2 a.m.

Tonight is an impressionist painting. Mind stitched with pain medication, galaxy-flavored vodka on the tongue. Time sloshing in my stomach. This is Sunday school in darkness, piss-poor promises budding from the recklessness of yesterday. Somewhere, a place without constellations begs my forgiveness.
Cover by Stormy Clowdis

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author photo
© Christa Houser/CALH Photography

Hannah Cohen lives in Virginia. She has an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte. She's currently a contributing editor for Platypus Press and co-editor of the online journal Cotton Xenomorph. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in december, Noble/Gas Qtrly, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Calamus Journal, Luna Luna Magazine, Yes Poetry, FIVE:2:ONE, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. She's received Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominations.