Fat Girl Finishing School

Fat Girl Finishing School

by Rachel Wiley
Fat Girl Finishing School

Fat Girl Finishing School

by Rachel Wiley


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Rachel Wiley, an author who holds many intersecting identities has written Fat Girl Finishing School as a love letter to her living body.

When confronted with fatphobia, racism, misogyny, and shame each poem chooses self love, despite society's expectations of conformity.

More than just a book about one single identity Fat Girl Finishing School makes intersectionality dimensional. This is a book steeped in experience, every story is striking, powerful, and unmistakably palpable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943735723
Publisher: Button Poetry
Publication date: 06/23/2020
Series: Button Poetry
Pages: 104
Sales rank: 665,782
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Rachel Wiley is a performer, poet, feminist, and fat positive activist from Columbus, Ohio. Rachel has represented Columbus at multiple National Poetry Slam Competitions and was a finalist twice in 2011. She is on staff at Writing Wrongs Poetry Slam and the co-host/co-founder of the Columbus Queer Open Mic. She has toured nationally performing at slam venues, colleges, and festivals. Her work has appeared on Upworthy, The Huffington Post, The Militant Baker, and Everyday Feminism.

Read an Excerpt


In 1916, Mary the Elephant was hanged from an industrial
crane for the murder of her inexperienced trainer. While being

stripped of her ivory, it was discovered that she'd had 2 ab-
scessed teeth on the side of her face where the trainer repeatedly

struck her with the bull hook.
They've gone and made you a ghastly ornament
of uncontrol, Mary. Your pain overturning a whole
city atop the man who dared to handle you
like some dumb creature.
Your largesse, both your attraction and your charge.
Isn't it something, the way these small-souled
people toss their hard-earned nickels at our feet
to marvel at our vastness,
to be in the presence of our dangerous,
to mock their fears in our content,
to provoke our great mass into motion so they can crown themselves
movers of mountains,
worshiping and damning us in 1 breath for the wonders that we are.
Their message is clear:
if you will not be small, at least make it easy to handle you.
Your anger, Mary—
our anger, Mary—
it reminds them of the ways we can undo them
with half the effort.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Pre-Flight Prayer of a Fat Girl 1

Americana 3

Ode to Tracy Turnblad 5

Purple Hearts 6

What Bette Davis Made Me Do 7

Love Letter to My Body # 3: My Excuse 9

How to Become a Heretic 10

Shutter 12

Gorgon 14

Love Letter to My Body # 7 16

Conversations with My Father in a Dunk Tank 17

Proof 19

Demeter 21

Brass Knuckles 22

This is Just to Say 27

10 Honest Thoughts on Being Loved by a Skinny Boy 28

Three Heart Monty 31

Venom 33

Love Letter to My Body # 8: Inked 36

For Nicholas Who is So Concerned 37

Tragedy 39

Hoarder 41

Love Letter to My Body # 10 42

Padlock's Daughter 43

A Poem for Amy Winehouse 44

Glass Half Full 46

There Used to Be a Fotomat Here 48

Sunday Morning Casino Service 50

The Circus Fat Lady Eulogizes Mary the Elephant 51

Home Wrecker 53

Questions for Yoko Ono When My Love Decides We Need A Break 57

Naked Atonement 60

That Summer 62

Blood Tongue 64

Wife Material 66

The Unbearable Likeness of Being on OkCupid 68

An Open Letter to the Assistant Manager of the KFC I Visited Last Week 69

Love Letter to My Body # 14: Borrow 71

Daylight 72

On the Bus 74

Coercion 76

Paper Babies 77

In Which the Poet Learns to Wake Up Alone 80

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