Adoro Books: Naked In Front Or Strangers by Stevie Gray
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Stevie Gray

Though the work of a British writer (just down the Avon from Stratford--as British as it gets), Stevie Gray's first volume, NAKED IN FRONT OF STRANGERS, is internet literature: writing as influenced by the far reaches of MySpace as by any particular locale.

It's "generational writing", perhaps. But hasn't bought into any icons of fashion or thought; doesn't hide in an agegroup zeitgeist, or try to claw out of it.

Many of the poems here reflect the persona seen in the Suicide Girl photos: the dark, sexy beauty with Doc Martins and machine guns blasting attitude. Some are illuminated by a central dichotomy of Stevie's life: an active, footloose, adventurous young woman chained down by a crippling condition caused by bad surgery. But just inches below the tight, black surface lies an essential vulnerability and a tenderness of expression that sets this work apart from the poses and rants, brings us all a message as universal as the entrapment of spirit in the prison of flesh.