The author resists spinning the grisliness of giving birth into a romance cleansed of pain, and it is exhilarating to take a square look at the body in birth ... lines make magic by changing the definition of recklessness. What could be more reckless, more frightening, more freeing than loving the little life you’ve made? ... there is something that just feels existentially right about the way DeColo’s poems treat birth—or, the way birth ruptures her poems. The images intrude. The stuff no one talks about...keeps surfacing ... The poems in I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers From the World reveal 'birth story' to be the container I suspected it was, with walls and limits, but birth is so excessive, so ultimately uncontainable by narrative. In DeColo’s poems, birth appears scattered, and it crops up, and it is grotesque, and it is glorious, and for all the language she’s found to let it express itself, nonetheless her speaker 'would give birth a million times / over and not tell anyone about it / if [she] could feel that kind of way again.'
I Am Not Trying to Hide My Hungers From the World...rejects the usual tropes of mothering. In their place, she molds a more honest representation of the mother—one that is defiant, joyful and feminist ... The collection is rich with imagery ... DeColo is a master at building tension and tricking you down a path you didn’t agree to follow. It’s rollicking good fun, but the crest of the wave in this collection is the title poem, in which she describes first being aware of her pregnancy as she climbed through the mountains.
Throughout the collection, DeColo shares both the severity and the softness of birth, emphasizing the intensity of pain and mental fixation one must go through to deliver a baby. However, what’s most fascinating is her exploration of the way society views a woman after giving birth. DeColo shows no mercy as she switches the narrative of motherhood and birth-giving as being something private or even shameful...to something cosmic ... Kendra DeColo’s mastery of language gives her the ability to border the sheer beauty of the feminine body with the destruction of childbirth, all while addressing themes of sexuality and politics within this collection of poetry. These poems are interesting, cosmic, rejuvenating, and offer feelings of collective consciousness.