Cover Art: Sam Rawls
Cover & Interior Design: Alban Fischer
Paperback | 126 Pages
Fall 2020 | ISBN 978-1-936919-79-6
About To Know Crush
A compelling memoir-in-verse—part love story, part social commentary, part call to action—To Know Crush by Jennifer Jackson Berry tells the full story of fat lives with complexity and humanity. This book calls for radical visibility both by the self and by others by showing how one woman came to see herself as a sexual being, how one coupling stands to upturn all the outside world thinks it knows about who deserves love. With breathless unpunctuated sections addressed to “you,” the love tumbles onto the page, then luxuriates there with bellies described as “the softest pillows in the / house” and libido that “yells for more always & always yells / for more.” This book critiques the healthcare and diet industries, airlines, department stores, pop culture, co-workers and friends—even those purported allies who call fat people brave for simply living their lives. Though years were lost to weigh-ins and misinformed doctors, cruel kids mimicking even crueler adults, ignored erogenous zones and dismissive lovers, anger is tempered with tenderness for and from a man who knows the crush of living in a fat body himself. Rage is merged with head-over-heels happiness. The way that both emotions hold space on these pages is a testament to Berry’s strength as a poet. It is time for her to hold space in the newly emerging canon of fat literature. It is time for her and this book to take up space.
To Know Crush
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About Jennifer Jackson Berry
Jennifer Jackson Berry is the authr of two full length poetry collections, To Know Crush (YesYes Books, 2020) and The Feeder (YesYes Books, 2016). She is also the author of the chapbooks Bloodfish (Seven Kitchens Press, Keystone Chapbook Series, 2019), When I Was a Girl (Sundress Publications, 2014) and Nothing But Candy (Liquid Paper Press, 2003). Her poems have appeared in journals such as BOAAT, The Boiler Journal, Grist, Poet Lore, Puerto del Sol, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry, among others. She was a participant in a panel reading at the Split This Rock Biennial Festival in Washington D.C. in April 2018: “Enlarging Poetics: Writing the Fat Body.” Her work has also been featured online at Verse Daily, on Prosody (a public radio show on NPR affiliate WESA-FM featuring the work of national writers), and in various anthologies including Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Just Me? (Social Justice Anthologies, 2019); Political Punch: Contemporary Poems on the Politics of Identity (Sundress Publications, 2016); Like a Girl: Perspectives on Feminine Identity (Lucid Moose Lit, 2015); New Poetry from the Midwest (New American Press, 2014); and We Will Be Shelter (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). She holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University and Indiana University’s MFA program. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.