Being of black, Native American, and white descent, erica lewis' poems recount her friends and family's--especially the women's--complex history with race, gender, and class in America, what it means to live with your own history, and how to move on. Each poem is framed by phrases from the lyrics of Stevie Wonder's Motown records, but the poems themselves are homages to her women kin, friends, and other contemporary women poets. And the dominant motif is brokenness. It is lewis' take on revising the confessional while taking inspiration from her family's own oral history. Each poem is also framed by phrases from the lyrics of Stevie Wonder's Motown records, but the poems are not "about" the actual songs, but what is triggered when listening to or thinking about the music. What happens when you take something like a pop song and turn it in on itself, give it a different frame of reference, juxtapose the work against itself, against other pop music, and bring it into the present. mary wants to be a superwoman is the second book of the box-set trilogy; daryl hall is my boyfriend (Barrelhouse, 2015) is the first.
By intertwining the public and the personal, Lewis's poems become a membrane through which pop culture permeates the most intimate experiences of selfhood. --Publisher's Weekly