My second book, Lo, won the Iowa Poetry Prize and is due from University of Iowa Press in May of 2023.
Praise for Lo:
Melissa Crowe is a new kind of genius of sensory memory. Mina Loy–like, Sappho-seeming, as if those ancient fragments blossomed so many centuries later as lush nerve endings signaling desire, signaling help for the crushed blooms of a childhood betrayed, in a cycle of agonizing poems the book’s other sections surround as if holding, carefully, even joyfully. Lo is a love song with a haunting melody that thrills me and makes me weep with gratitude.
Lo rides the exclamation and imperative of its title with indefatigable tenderness and dogged reverie and confirms Crowe’s place as one of contemporary poetry’s most skilled raconteurs. Crowe knows attention is a kind of love, and her work resonates with the easy hum of concentrated care; what’s rare, then, is how these finely spun poems carry us through the sweet and the bitter, reviving a buried bravery both necessary and all our own.
Lo is a devastatingly gorgeous, sigh-out-loud-every-other-line celebration of the inner life. Like a geode, an ordinary looking rock, Lo insists that there is more—more to discover inside or underneath, more in the secreted and unsaid. In these poems, Crowe cracks open the ordinary, the harrowing, even the ugly, to reveal the jewels inside. This book—this poet—is a marvel.
My first full-length collection, Dear Terror, Dear Splendor, was published by University of Wisconsin Press on February 11, 2019. You can purchase a copy directly from the press and wherever books are sold online.
Praise for Dear Terror, Dear Splendor:
From uncles and brothers to mothers and daughters, Melissa Crowe delivers searing poems that shine a light on all we inherit from our individual worlds and what we then build from those personal histories. This is a dazzling book—full of damage and love, yearning and astonishment. ”
In this restless and disarming debut, as deftly crafted as the star and as lush and unpredictable as looming motherhood, Melissa Crowe displays lyrical mastery. This is skill meant to savor. And this is a poet who arrives as teacher. We’d be fools not to listen and learn.
Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art and winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
In these pages, you’ll find a poet who loves so deeply she refuses to turn away from the world, no matter how sour or broken. Crowe’s long-awaited debut shines with not just the intricacies of her life, but lessons of how we might each learn to better live our own.”