for the joy of it, anaïs peterson

Saturated in the particular righteous pleasure of young queerness, anaïs peterson’s hybrid chapbook for the joy if it explores the limitations and possibilities of language through a series of bright and captivating collages. Loosely woven through text and images, these poems traverse the speaker’s mindscape, which bursts with color and personal iconography.

The narrative poses questions: How can one embrace queerness without the validation of acceptance? How can one know themselves without negotiating with others’ perceptions? for the joy of it claims no clear answers, and the question marks hang in the air like fireworks. Ephemeral yet enduring, this collection can’t help but draw readers into its valiant display of truth-seeking.

“These poems are as attentive to the self as nature is to its own fluidity. anaïs peterson defies and contorts the meanings of endings, as flowers, when cut at their roots, heal the soil and grow again.”
—Shay X Gee, author of Mushrooms at the E-Grave

for the joy of it is, as the title promises, a joy to read. It is the first deep inhale as the tension in your chest abates, filling you with resonant connection. Through typed stanzas, colorful scrawls, and complementary imagery and collages, peterson meditates on their identity and positionality unapologetically and on their own terms, carving out space for nuance and complexity. Queerness revels in itself in peterson’s work, making room for rage and humor, while forging alternative modes of being, speaking, and connecting.”
—Kimberly Rooney 高小荣, Best of the Net 2022 finalist