WOMAN, EAT ME WHOLE
Ama Asantewa Diaka
Poetry, Ecco, 2022
A bold, mesmerizing debut collection exploring womanhood, the body, mental illness, and what it means to move between cultures.
Renowned for her storytelling and spoken-word artistry, Ama Asantewa Diaka is also an exultant, fierce, and visceral poet whose work leaves a lasting impact.
Touching on themes from perceptions of beauty to the betrayals of the body, from what it means to give consent to how we grapple with demons internal and external, Woman, Eat Me Whole is an entirely fresh and powerful look at womanhood and personhood in a shifting world. Moving between Ghana and the United States, Diaka probes those countries’ ever-changing cultural expectations and norms while investigating the dislocation and fragmentation of a body—and a mind—so often restless or ill at ease.
Vivid and bodily while also deeply cerebral, Woman, Eat Me Whole is a searing debut collection from a poet with an inimitable voice and vision.
"In Ama Asantewa Diaka’s collection, Woman, Eat Me Whole, the great invention is in her manner of reconfiguring the metaphysical into a deeply African, even Ghanaian reckoning with the body of the woman—it is thick with blood, flesh, and ferocious intelligence...Diaka’s meditations—revealing, complicated and elegant—take the most endearing and engaging risks, even as she produces verse of urgent and timely relevance. Her poetic presence in the world excites me greatly." — Kwame Dawes