Analicia Sotelo’s Virgin is stunning. Impeccably crafted and packed with sensual imagery ... The speaker – at times humorously self-deprecating, at times wielding controlled rage – is observer and interpreter ... Sotelo refuses to let her speakers off the hook, and they own up to their complicity. This evenhandedness of observation lends her poems an air of indisputability – as if they themselves are a new kind of mythology.
Sotelo’s poetry reveals the weight of desire, how our hearts drag our bodies ... Sotelo mines the Marian paradox with complexity, grace, and power ... Her narrators want more out of life, but they clench what they have—and draw us back to her pages. A significant debut.
Sotelo’s poems tend to blend together, partly thanks to her fondness for I-statements ... Paradoxically, self disappears behind self-reference, and 'I' has a blurring effect, as if we’re driving too fast through a landscape to take much in. But Sotelo’s best poems are also first person ... Slowing down, she relays experience without evasive disjunction or false coherence. Sotelo’s complicated ambivalence about men who 'still love girls, but rarely admit it' is disturbing and authentic.