*We couldn't be more excited to make this announcement!* Switchback Books will be publishing Marisa Crawford's second collection of poems, REVERSIBLE, in early 2017.
The dream of the '90s is alive in REVERSIBLE, where the coping mechanisms for surviving the complexities of teenage girl existence are bound up in episodes of My So-Called Life, Cranberries lyrics, and the intimacy of friendship. REVERSIBLE is also a temporal study--saturated in the past and confronting anxiety about future and its possibilities. Relics from adolescence accumulate throughout the collection and transcend their original purposes, creating a narrative about life before the internet, feminist identity, and the persistent messiness of selfhood.
If you haven't yet read Crawford's first collection of poems, The Haunted House, well, we're jealous that you get to experience it for the first time. Pick it up here!
Marisa Crawford is the author of the poetry collection The Haunted House (Switchback, 2010), and the...
Who made you care about poetry in 2013? Maybe it was one of the same people who made JD Scott care? Switchback authors Marisa Crawford and Jennifer Tamayo made his list; did they make yours? Who made you want to pass heart-o-grams this year? Who lept from the page, "rhapsodic . . . deliciously surly."?
Because of the end. Because they almost made it. Because they maybe could’ve made it. Because they never could’ve made it. Because the world we live in wouldn’t have let them. And because they knew it.
Crawford’s poems say no to aesthetic distance. They ask you—and me—to jump into the pool with them, to join them up in the attic, and not to climb out. Their performance of girlhood seems, to them and to me, an amazed alternative to the compromises and the logical consequence of any well-ordered, decorous, appropriately attired adult world. The poems are like temporary, miniature, wilder alternatives to that world, “like an entire town underneath the Christmas tree, if you think about it” (which also works as a figure for poetry in general). The poems are like Christmas-tree miniatures, but they are also like erotic fantasies, envisioning impossible transformations, such as Emily Dickinson as a high school swimmer, or myself as a woman, a girl. “She rammed her head into my mouth, in the pool. I hid her letters in my bra. There’s a part of my brain that’s like the zipper on a sleeping bag, a cluster of pine trees, a telephone c...
The poems read like they were scribbled in a notebook, in class, right before the bell rings. They come in thick stream-of-consciousness paragraphs, numbered lists, and long-lined odes that almost trip over their own gushing. The key here, though, is the almost; you can follow Crawford’s rambling thoughts as far as they go—almost too far!—but they always stop right where they need to.
There have always been teenage girls battling Sharptooths in one way or another, and always will be: “Your frills are / made of bone and we were born that way.”
It’s a perfectly ironic scenario: crushed by the expectations, or crushed again by the attempt to defy them? Either way, you’re crushed.
New Poetry from Switchback Books The Haunted House by Marisa Crawford $14 paper 82 pp. Switchback Books ISBN: 9780978617257
Poetry. Marisa Crawford's first collection of poetry evokes The Breakfast Club's angst with deliberate control and fresh upheaval. Centering on coming-of-age themes, Crawford is brutally honest yet careful in her representations and confessional moments—she invokes a preteen voice, capturing in detail female subjects, such as one who wears "cotton flowers on her undershirt," and describing "men who leave handprints all over your blankets." There is a maddening and desirous investment in the characters littered throughout: Ivy, Deidre, Virginia, Stephanie, Megan. Each girl is a catalyst for another brilliantly crafted poem; each poem is a catalyst for swizzle-stick nostalgia and a close re-examination of girlhood. The winner of the 2008 Gatewood Prize, Crawford reminds us that although we may make it out of our childhoods alive, we...