peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva is not an easy poetry book to review. Her themes of being a woman and being a Latina woman in America is the entire book. Once you have said that, you have said everything you need to know.
My interpretations of most of her poems is that the subjects become repetitive. She mentions her self-consciousness about her body (her excess hair and the issues that come about with waxing all areas a woman is apt to wax; plus, her issues with the breast sizes of her and a sister). She continues the theme of hair/waxing with her mothers’ customers (her mother not only waxes her clients but talks about waxing. She also waxes and gives waxing tips to her daughters. And Melissa assists her mother occasionally by heating the wax, so more waxing talk). Along with several comments about how she is considered the “good girl” among she and her sisters, Lozada-Oliva creates poems unique to her. She does use some “coarse language” to talk about actions, body parts and more that can seem to be just about being vulgar just to be vulgar.
That is not to say the poems are poor or the book is not a good collection. It has many unique images that come out of her words as she focuses on these issues she is facing, not only as a Latina woman but a woman in general and as a child of immigrant parents. Many themes I was able to empathize with, but not always relate, too. Therefore, her style of writing is worth reading, but it may not be a book you connect with.