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Plastic's Republic
Guernica Editions, Spring 2019
128 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN13: 9781771833684
ISBN10: 1771833688
$20.00 Canada, $20.00 US

Read more from the Essential Poets Series

In 2019 Barbie turns 60. Never only a toy, she defines the stellar. In Plastic's Republic, Giovanna Riccio delves into Barbie's impact on female beauty highlighting how plasticity in body and persona have allowed the doll to remain top-diva. Other poems bring to life, Mattel's movers-n-shakers who created Barbie to be their in-house money maker. Riccio's Plastications lyrics illustrate how Barbie's mouldable nature lets Mattel position their high achiever as ever-relevant, arguably, by exploiting social trends, political movements and historical events. In the Human Barbies section, Barbie becomes plastic surgery's prophet, spawning “plastic-positive” people who see their bodies as raw material suitable for actual and virtual surgical “doctoring.” Riccio's witty, inimitable poems portray Barbie as a complex, contradictory global celebrity, but also explore the philosophical, feminist and body-image issues that this plastic goddess engenders. In the finale, the poems naturally segue to silicone sex dolls and a plastic-smothered ocean.

I'm plastic

in the original sense of the word,

the matter behind your need

for personal theatre, for the preview.

Calculated to be pivotal,

I'm a living doll

selling my own bill of goods.

Books by Giovanna Riccio

Plastic's Republic