Black Lawrence Press

Ready for the World

What does it take for a girl to get ready for the world, and is it ever possible to go back? Ready for the World is a book of poems, spells, performance scripts, and feminist fairytales that derives its magic from tarot and astrology, feminist artist foremothers, and virtual and IRL covens. In her update of the lyric “I” for the digital age, Klaver claims for poetry the trivialized tones of femininity, unwilling to give up on the possibility of an outside to patriarchy as she loops around in cyclical time to access a spirit of magic, play, friendship, and artmaking.

Written in the years Klaver was collaborating on feminist writing, performance, ritual, and activism in person and online in the form of the (G)IRL writing group, The Real Housewives of Bohemia podcast, the Women Poets Wearing Sweatpants website, the Anti-Surveillance Feminist Poet Hair & Makeup Party roving mob, and the Enough Is Enough proto-#MeToo activist collective, Ready for the World explores how alternative practices and communities can resist destructive forms of power and conjure other ways of being and knowing.

Praise

  • Becca Klaver’s Ready for the World is a dazzling, brilliant spellbook for femmes, witches, and bad princesses, a survival guide for our gross misogynist times. With poems created from FB girl party message boards to tarot cards to selfies, Ready for the World is major contemporary while still paying honor to feminist conceptual art foremothers like Yoko Ono, who taught us the power of words, of wishes. “A wish is not a luxury,” Klaver writes, “They will tell you you can have no more wishes / And yet we wish well of course we wish.” Klaver’s spells and wishes give me permission, give me life.
    —Kate Durbin
  • “A reverse exorcism,” Ready for the World is on the astrological cusp of Cancer and carcinogen, analog experience and clickable fantasy. With her selfie timer set, Becca Klaver takes our hand and skips us through an Insta feed looking-glass into an introspective grimoire. The girly spectral speakers of the “pink geometry” mapped in these poems stake their own subjectivity in packs, through ritual and performativity and raucous laughter. Whether your own adolescence was blissfully full of besties who Ouija’ed yourselves out of the patriarchy or not, you can “get that teenage feeling back” with this tricked-out book. Call in the four elements and stand by for the headrush of magic. 
    —Arielle Greenberg
  • Well, right away it’s clear that this is about a witch who’s trying to reestablish the connection with nature the lack of which I feel as I’m writing this. Then she joins the chorus of girls that in a previous time might have hopped around a Christina Rossetti or Austen churchyard that are now the self-subjects of selfies and visual autofictions on social media. There’s something about the flow of it that reflects the movements of nature. Maybe that’s feminine attraction to digital flow. Yeah, I said flow... The witch melts and she’s reborn in the flow of knowledge. “I am the motherboard of artifice./ I am, like, too close to nature.” Spells potions and posts, there’s something to all of this applying that equals prayer. I remember seeing a girl scrolling down her feed on the subway while next to her a shawled lady prayed the rosary and how they were the same motion. Also the woman in Ex Machina walking away into nature that is her birthright. Is that what happens or did I wish it? A modernist and Romantic heritage peeks through like the first flowers of spring... I’m feeling along with everything, and I have a spellbook just like what I saw in Teen Witch. I hear “Violet” by Hole… Can you read this book too and can we talk about it on a full moon? 
    —Ana Božičević

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Becca Klaver

Becca Klaver is a writer, teacher, editor, scholar, and literary collaboration conjurer. She is the author of several chapbooks and of the poetry collections LA Liminal (Kore Press), Empire Wasted (Bloof Books), and Ready for the World (Black Lawrence Press). A founding editor of the feminist poetry press Switchback Books, she is currently coediting, with Arielle Greenberg, the anthology Electric Gurlesque (Saturnalia Books). Becca holds degrees from the University of Southern California (BA), Columbia College Chicago (MFA), and Rutgers University (PhD), and is the Robert P. Dana Director of the Center for the Literary Arts at Cornell College. Born and raised in Milwaukee, she lives in Iowa City.

Klaver Author page

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