Any Anxious Body by Chrissy Kolaya

Source: the poet, Chrissy Kolaya
Paperback, 96 pages
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Any Anxious Body by Chrissy Kolaya does not have the most eye-catching cover, but what’s inside will knock your socks off!  Beginning with what readers may see as someone who lived through the Great Depression when saving everything counted toward survival, Kolaya uses early memories and events overheard to not only connect generation to generation, but to weave a thread through each struggle and moment of unease and concern that each moment is fleeting.  Humans are in a perpetually anxious state, sometimes without knowing it, because our lives are finite and each moment has a beginning and end — often ending before we’re ready to deal with it.

From “Fired” (page 17)

His friend —
the one married just out of high school,
runs his eyes over you,
smoothing the skin over your bones.

Kolaya — using notes from a great grandmother who no longer can verbally communicate and a letter from her daughter — has a visceral sense of not only the human body and its reactions to touch, but also the emotional connections between family and lovers. Her verses are fresh and evoke a response from her readers immediately. While there is a sense of contemplation about life events and family connections, the poems also never forget to remind readers that too much thinking can prevent life from happening.

From “Polarity” (page 15)

She wants to talk about how it will work
and I think:
I will move toward you in a moment or two,
and you should do the same.

Any Anxious Body by Chrissy Kolaya has created a reflective collection of poems, a collection that requires the reader to listen to the voices, to the moments, to the memories, but more importantly to open themselves up to the experience.  Each poem’s voice changes perspective, providing readers with the fullest view of living as possible, and sometimes those perspectives can leave you squirming.

About the Author:

Chrissy Kolaya is a poet and fiction writer. Her short fiction has been included in the anthologies New Sudden Fiction (Norton) and Fiction on a Stick (Milkweed Editions). Her poems and fiction have appeared in a number of literary journals.

She has received a Norman Mailer Writers Colony summer scholarship, an Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies fellowship, a Loft Mentor Series Award in Poetry, and grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Lake Region Arts Council, and the University of Minnesota. She teaches writing at the University of Minnesota Morris. Check out her blog and her Facebook page.

15th book for 2014 New Author Challenge.




Book 9 for the Dive Into Poetry Reading Challenge 2014.



For today’s 2014 National Poetry Month: Reach for the Horizon tour stop, click the image below:


  1. I’m really glad you liked this one! I’ve been dipping in and out of it and like it a lot, but since I don’t read a lot of poetry I wondered if that was, at least in part, because I know Chrissy. It is lovely to know that others enjoyed it.

  2. I don’t think the cover’s that bad…I actually kind of like it. Sounds like a great collection. “Polarity” caught my eye.

    • I like that the poems that resonated with me in the collection are the poets personal favorites…that didn’t find homes in journals. It was a nice surprise that I happened to pick those two to quote from.

  3. I actually like that cover. The book sounds good to me too!

  4. Beth Hoffman says

    By cover alone I would have passed this one by, and it would have been my loss. After reading your post, I ‘m certain I will love this. Thank you!

  5. I read this one recently, too, and have been thinking about it. You sum it up well–the shifting perspectives are interesting and not at all disjoint, but vaguely disconcerting. I suspect that’s part of the point, the shifting back and forth, being not quite sure whose point of view you’ve entered as you start the next poem.


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