Frida Kahlo was a Mexican, queer, disabled artist known for her self portraits and surrealist style. She’s well known for her tumultuous relationship with her husband and fellow artist Diego Rivera, and can be recognised by her stern eyes and stand out monobrow.
“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”
– Frida Kahlo
In her new poetry collection, “Self Portrait“, Elisabeth Horan explores the life and work of this amazing artist through poetry, touching on the most intimate parts of Kahlo’s life and work. Throughout the collection, Horan infuses her poetry in dual-language aspects and paints a unique portrait of Frida that I personally haven’t seen done before.
Through the writing, we can see just how much Horan identifies with Kahlo, and this connection shines through in this collection. It inspires the reader to look deeper into Khalo’s life and see just how her art was influenced by her experiences.
Although written by a caucasian woman, the author expresses in her forward that she does not presume to understand the Latinx experience; something I’m really glad was added. She doesn’t presume to understand some of the experiences Kahlo experienced, and it’s a respectful nod for readers and fans of Kahlo alike.
The writing style in this collection of poetry is raw and flows smoothly. For those who don’t understand the infused Spanish throughout, there are English translations that can be read easily. I personally love the opening poem, “Crash Sonnet”, as it sets the tone for the rest of the collection and opens up at a pivotal point in Kahlo’s life, the moment she was impaled during a bus crash in 1925. Something which haunted her for the rest of her life, resulting in 32 surgeries and years of chronic pain and extreme fatigue.
Self Portrait by Elisabeth Horan was published by Cephalo Press on September 30th 2019, and can be bought via the following websites:
From Cephalo Press: https://www.cephalopress.com/books/
From Amazon (ebook): https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07XZFJ3CT