Raw Flesh Flash: The Incomplete, Unfinished Documenting Of by Donovan Hufnagle Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author and poet Donovan Hufnagle shares a collection of poetry that delves into the meanings and stories behind the tattoos that adorn our bodies within his book, “Raw Flesh Flash: The Incomplete, Unfinished Documenting of”.


The Synopsis

Raw Flesh Flash: The Incomplete, Unfinished Documenting Of is “a careful poetic ethnography of tattooed bodies and the stories that they tell. Just as the tattoo inscribes meaning on the body, this book elegantly reveals the stories that only the body can tell. It is a book that connects tattoo-adorned bodies to a profound human truth: we are each other’s mirrors, and the artful inscriptions of our bodies connect us to each other in ways that transcend political and social divides.” Kristen Prevallet

The Review

This was such an artful and passionate collection of poems. The author does an incredible job of utilizing imagery and atmosphere in each poem to convey the tone and theme that each poem and passage is meant to. The way each story within the poems seems to tie into the deeper meaning behind not only the tattoos that people get, but the people behind the needle who curate these works of art onto a person’s body and the tattooing process as a whole made this so compelling to get lost in.

While not someone who has gotten a tattoo before, I have many family members who have, and not only have I always wanted one myself but the art behind tattoos and the meaning behind them have always moved me. The creativity, the passion, and the emotional connection for some make these tattoos feel alive, and the way this experience harkens back throughout history, even to the ancient Viking culture, was profound to lose yourself in when reading up on the subject. This is the same magic and wonder the author’s work tackles, as each poem not only tells the story of average, ordinary people, but the stories of love and loss and everything in-between that their tattoos tell of, and the sense of wonderment that overcomes you when looking upon these works of art, as well as both the good and bad emotions that come with the experience, making this a compelling collection to get lost in.

The Verdict

Memorable, heartfelt, and engaging, author Donovan Hufnagle’s “Raw Flesh Flash: The Incomplete, Unfinished Documenting Of” is a must-read collection of poetry. The almost rhythmic delivery of each poem and the artistry that went into the delivery of the poem’s imagery was profound and captivating, making this one collection you will pick up time and time again. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Donovan Hufnagle is a husband, a father of three, and a professor of English and Humanities. He moved from Southern California to Prescott, Arizona to Fort Worth, Texas. His new poetry collection, Raw Flesh Flash: The Incomplete, Unfinished Of, is a poetic scrapbook of interviews, poetry, and documents about the universal narrative of tattoos. 

He also has three other poetry collections: The Sunshine Special, a “part personal narrative, epic poem, and historical artifact;” Shoebox, an epistolary, poetic narrative about Juliana’s “past and present, love and lack, in language that startles;” and 30 Days of 19, inverted Haiku poems juxtaposed to Trump tweets, capturing the first thirty days of the Covid 19 quarantine. 

Other recent writings have appeared in The Closed Eye Open, Tempered Runes Press, Solum Literary Press, Poetry Box, Beyond Words, Wingless Dreamer, Subprimal Poetry Art, Americana Popular Culture Magazine, Shufpoetry, Kitty Litter Press, Carbon Culture, Amarillo Bay, Borderlands, Tattoo Highway, The New York Quarterly, Rougarou, and others.



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