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.”
My second chapbook, Girl, Giant, was published by Finishing Line Press in late 2013.
Praise for Girl, Giant:
With a language-lust reminiscent of Plath, Melissa Crowe swears fidelity, swears devotion to everyone she loves--husband, daughter, brother, rowdy uncles--against whatever losses life (or death) might toss their way. The language in these poems flies high like an aerialist swinging out across the abyss. Sometimes the poems clown. Sometimes they stick their head in the lion's mouth, and aware of those dark jaws, they sing their fierce love all the more. It's a thrilling performance.
Betsy Sholl, former Maine Poet Laureate and author of Rough Cradle (Alice James Books, 2009)
(cover image courtesy of the Liverpool City Council)
My first chapbook appeared from Dancing Girl Press in 2008. You can order a copy here.
Here's a little tidbit:
The way to begin is
to imagine naked readers, all of them knock-kneed, slack-cheeked, all of their bellies red-marked by the elastic band of clearly-unfashionable underpants. There's nothing dirty about these readers, no garter belts, nothing shaved or slippery—they're almost genderless with their slouching and their leg hair. Like grandparents. We're talking zero augmentation, every falsy in a pile somewhere unseen. Here's what I mean: I need you to be the boy in fourth grade who campaigned for Mondale. I need you to have big teeth, mildew between the tiles in your shower sometimes. Can you lick your plate? For me, and I'm really asking, can you admit you hate the taste of wine?
If so, if you can agree to my terms, if all of us—me and, readers, you (figuratively naked, lumpy, buck-toothed geeks) can stand at the alter and say we will, we are in some small way in bed, I will let you keep your glad rags on. When we are together in the world—on a train, on line at the bank, at table with the other china cups—I will let you wear your water bra, your fancy socks. You can put your hand over your mouth when you laugh. You can talk about Foucault. The thing is, now I'll know. When we are here, the day rinsed clean and resting in the silent sink, I'll be the lover who waits between the shabby sheets, the one in front of whom you disrobe with the lights on. And I'll be naked, too. I do.