136 pages, 5.25" x 7.75"
Publication Date: 20 June 2015
Tender Points is a narrative fractured by trauma. Named after the diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, the text explores sexual violence, gendered illness, chronic pain, and patriarchy through the lenses of lived experience and pop culture (Twin Peaks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, noise music, etc.).
Praise for Tender Points
Tender Points does precisely what people are always saying can’t be done—it combines a moving, distilled, literary journey with advocacy and even pedagogy, here about trauma, chronic pain, patriarchy, and more. Call it “écriture féminine en homme,” if you want (as Berkowitz does, with acid wit)—but whatever you call it, this is firm, high-stakes speech speaking truth to power, radiating beauty and fierceness from its inspiring insistence and persistence.
"Trauma is nonlinear," writes Berkowitz. I am impressed by the sensing form she makes. That has the day in it, as well as the night. The body, that is, in variable settings, frames and weathers. The stairs that “climb up my arms and neck." The "I am bitterly jealous of people who can always go back to being a barista for a while." This book is a kind of clutching and being there for real, and that is what I like. A book. That takes up. A visceral form.
Tender Points is one of those books that feels necessary. It takes on rape culture and cops and doctors, the whole long history of who gets to speak and how, who gets heard and who doesn’t and why not. I wish this book wasn’t as necessary as it is, but I’m so grateful to Amy for writing it.
Amy Berkowitz is a poet who mostly writes prose. She lives in a rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco, which serves as the headquarters for her chapbook press, Mondo Bummer Books, as well as the venue for her reading series, Amy's Kitchen Organics. She's the author of two chapbooks: Lonely Toast (what to us press, 2010) and Listen to Her Heart (Spooky Girlfriend, 2012). Her work has also appeared in Dusie, Textsound, VIDA, and Where Eagles Dare, among other places. She was a 2014 writer in residence at Alley Cat Bookstore & Gallery. Tender Points is her first book.
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