girl poems by Anna K. Crooks

Available for preorder NOW at store.bruisermag.com. Place time-sensitive holiday orders BY DECEMBER 15.

BRUISER is excited to announce the release of girl poems, the debut collection from Baltimore poet Anna K. Crooks and first volume in the BRUISER Zines series. Printed and assembled in Baltimore, this limited edition zine includes 24 previously unpublished poems.

The first time I heard Anna read, I was struck by her voice, the confidence of her delivery, her ability to animate the attitudes of the time through the lens of the self. Reading the poems in this slim volume, I hear Anna’s voice again, clear as a bell. Only now I realize she is never synthesizing an era, she’s exploding it, taking it apart and reassembling it into something both unexpected and inevitable. And, thank god, she’s funny.”

Geoff Rickly, author of Someone Who Isn’t Me

On December 12, 2023 we welcome any and all Baltimore-area bruisers to celebrate this release with a poetry reading at Normals Books & Records featuring Kelly Xio, Lish Ciambrone, Katie Addada Shlon, HH Hiassen and, of course, Anna herself. The reading will begin at 7pm. We’re asking for a donation of $10–or $15 with a copy of the zine included.

i am god’s little mouth,” proclaims the speaker of Anna K. Crooks’ girl poems — equal parts boast, giddy confession, and self-deprecating meme. Each poem in this bright, slippery collection is an intimate broadcast, a tiny flare of holy fire in a soft-plastic world. Sardonic but never mean, these verses evoke today’s vernacular of internal doom-scroll (“my kink is clocking in”) while reaching for the divine — and finding it, in love songs that won’t be written, obscene 90s toys (“butthole tubeys/ filled with water and glitter”), and the moon, who gives me one more reason to live (that bitch!!).” Each time this voice claims a self — gussied up as the poet,” lucky girl,” the last living shania twain” — it soon shimmies out of the costume, revealing a soul tending to compassion both grimy and grand. girl poems tingles with human electricity, like a current passed between friends’ bodies — one finger touching the metal, one finger touching you.

Katie Moulton, author of Dead Dad Club: On Grief & Tom Petty

anna k. crooks is a poet. she lives in baltimore, maryland. she is a one-time co-host of tender f.m. and curating member of open space. she loves hugs and holding hands and kissing her boyfriend, hanging out with her best friends, and listening to kpop. she grew up in suburban ohio, playing soccer, going to the mall with her best friends, and listening to pop punk. she never grew out of loving amphibians. she is just like the other girls.

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