SWEET BLOODY SALTY CLEAN — by Francesca Kritikos

(Hybrid collection. Poetry, prose. Paperback. Matte covers. 6.5”x6.5”. 136 pages. August 2023)

A body minimizes and maximizes itself, the flavors are over-saturated and nonexistent, citizens are famished and gorged, cash is king, and virtue weighs nothing. Characters contained within: shepherds, little girls, baby elephants, Venus flytraps, grocery stores, famine, God, meat, and money.

"SWEET BLOODY SALTY CLEAN by Francesca Kritikos is a ruthless book about the body's canny acclimation to anything, even its own death drive. Disordered eating, self-revulsion, lack of fulfillment or money-Kritikos' poems are permutations on a few tight contemporary themes, yet I found myself continually surprised by her bluntness and clarity: 'A fly landing in a Venus / flytrap // is getting what it wants / otherwise it wouldn't.' This is a furious text with a keen sense of self; these poems cut."

-Niina Pollari, author of Path of Totality

"Kritikos writes desire with the precision of Anne Carson, the hunger of Richard Siken, and the stark honesty of Sylvia Plath, but her poetry is all her own. This book is a fleshy, complex reckoning with the impossibility of keeping and the inevitability of losing. Kritikos knows the lengths we will go to in order to feel anything. As alive and essential as pleasure itself."

-Lindsay Lerman, author of I'm From Nowhere and What Are You

Francesca Kritikos is a Greek-American writer based in Chicago. She is the editor in chief of SARKA, a journal and publisher focused on works of the flesh.

Read poems from the book here

Listen to a podcast conversation with Francesca here

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