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Crown for the Girl Inside by Lisa Low

Distributed by YesYes Books and Ingram

Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer

Photo: Lorraine Low

$12  |  ISBN: 978-1-936919-96-3

Poetry  l  Chapbook   |  July 18, 2023


Praise for Crown for the Girl Inside


Lisa Low's Crown for the Girl Inside asks the moving, vexing, beautiful question: when there are so many mechanisms of estrangement, so much alienation and alienating, how do we manage to remain, or become, unestranged from ourselves? Which, in my opinion, is as important a question as there is.
—Ross Gay, Inciting Joy


In poetic worlds lush with interiority and meta-awareness, Low’s poems transcribe how the body learns to perform grief—grief inexplicitly bound to racism and racialization of Asian American women in this country. Invoking the sonnet crown as a medium to hold such inquiry, Low writes, “I placed a riddle/ into the poem: a riddle with no answer./ I placed grief into the poem: a girl sealed inside.” This same grieving body becomes the catalyst for liberatory practices and resistance. Low’s story, polemic and lyric boldly calls out the problem and restlessly asks us to do the same by saying the word white out loud like an incantation to dispel the root cause of exclusion and dehumanization. Through harrowing acts of tenderness, we feel the uncrumpling of these voices where decolonizing the self emerges as reparative healing.

—Felicia Zamora, I Always Carry My Bones


There is such beauty in the direct language of Lisa Low's Crown for the Girl Inside. These poems go to the heart—to the center of the speaker who has lived a life of being silenced, and even sometimes finding comfort in that silence but who nevertheless keeps record. And what I find especially thrilling is how the formal shape of these poems reimagines displacement and quietude as statements in their own right: an apology letter deconstructed or a sonnet crown that overlaps therapy with the act of writing are saying, even sometimes without having directly to say, that the one's presence of body (and the shape a poem makes) establish a space to live.
—Keith S. Wilson, Fieldnotes on Ordinary Love

Crown for the Girl Inside by Lisa Low

SKU: 2301005
$12.00 Regular Price
$9.60Sale Price
  • Crown for the Girl Inside is here!!!

    Winner, Vinyl 45 Chapbook Prize

  • About Crown for the Girl Inside

    With both levity and grief, Lisa Low’s Crown for the Girl Inside explores Asian American stereotypes and the too bright-white spaces the speaker finds herself in, whether at parties, on the page, or in her own home. Contemplating “the hole in the conversation where white was not said,” the poems look for new ways to respond to racism while also lamenting the racial challenges of writing about trauma. Public and private, seeing and being seen are reimagined as the poems draw on pop culture along with personal experiences on social media and the speaker’s relationship with her white husband. Prose poems, an erasure, and a sonnet sequence build to a crowning—a kind of rebirth but with cake and candles. Crown for the Girl Inside is about vulnerability, the possibilities and limitations of writing, and what happens when we talk about whiteness as often as we think of it.

  • About the Author

    LISA LOW is the author of Crown for the Girl Inside (YesYes Books), winner of the 2020 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Contest. Her work has appeared in Copper Nickel, Ecotone, The Massachusetts Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, and elsewhere, and was awarded the 2020 Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize. She is the recipient of a 2023 Pushcart Prize and has an MFA from Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Cincinnati, where she served as associate editor at The Cincinnati Review. Originally from Maryland, she lives in Chicago.

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