I Was Not Born (Paperback)

By Julia Cohen

Noemi Press, 9781934819388, 126pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2014



Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. In this genre-blending collection, Julia Cohen entwines the lyric and the essay with text messages, transcripts of therapy sessions, letters between Paul Celan and Nelly Sachs, meditations on Levinas and John Coltrane to document a love story about language, suicide, anxiety, atheism, and finding a way back to feeling.

"In ways unforeseeable until the very fact of this book, Julia Cohen re-interrogates and reintegrates that ongoing paradox Psyche presents us figure that refuses to stabilize the ongoing crisis between soul and mind. As of Psyche of old, Eros lurks everywhere, even in absence. But here, resisting the ease of mere allegory, Cohen stitches together differing forms of texts lyric verse, prose poems bordering on the surreal, brief narratives, excerpts from psychoanalysis to unfold the agonized reality of a lover's attempted suicide. I WAS NOT BORN opens in the ex- treme difficulty of relations falling apart; it ends in affirmation that word calls out as a lover calls be it in sonnet or be it in text message to its dearest counterpart, world." Dan Beachy-Quick

"In I WAS NOT BORN, Julia Cohen kindles a pillar of fire that reminds us that we do not always get out alive, that not everyone survives her or his youthful dreams. Like 'breaking into an apple, ' the nourishment, the seeds, the core of life pulses throughout this accomplished work." Brenda Coultas

"Julia Cohen proves herself a protean writer, engaged with both world and word, playing for keeps. A finely etched portrait of a relationship with a suicidal lover proves but the portal for the author to recover a self and bid it sing. A beautiful, original, and deft achievement." Maggie Nelson.