If “the realm of the personal and sexual has always been literary for men [...] and confessional for women,” as Lori Saint-Martin puts it, Marisa Crawford's Diary explodes the literary/confessional binary, pushing the limits of what it means to write a poem, a diary entry, a marketing copy block. A woman works, walks, and writes, traversing Midtown Manhattan on a lunch break from a corporate day job: like her predecessors Frank O'Hara and Clarissa Dalloway, she sweeps through streets and stores, navigating the entangled pleasures and horrors of city life in late capitalism. Family, literary, and personal histories of New York appear around every corner, braiding themselves into poems that glow with longing for this life and for all the others—in memory and fantasy—that shimmer behind it.
This collection is about obsessions and how we are always building them, surrendering to them, or evading them. What is really being wrestled with is love, its losses, despair, denial of that despair, learning to love one’s own body and self, and all the ways we trick ourselves into making it through the hours and days and shifts of this grinding blue world.
Natalie Diaz, author of Postcolonial Love Poem
A dazzling collection of poems investigating dark corners of the mundane, Diary is incredibly ordinary but that is its magic. A portrait of a time, a modern-day poetic interpretation into the everydayness of being female and living in NYC while zooming into a cosmology of intimacies with incredible preciseness and lyricism. Marisa Crawford’s poetics are packed with beauty and darkness while still popping with magnificent humor. A joy to read, Diary is sassy and pretty, cataclysmic and full of life.”
Julián Delgado Lopera, author of Fiebre Tropical
Marisa Crawford’s Diary is the book of this moment. All of the joys, dread, wondering, consuming, and sheer beauty of right now is encapsulated in these poems. Diary’s utter brilliance is that you will enjoy the bountiful journey and recollections of times past, as much as you will enjoy the terror of its present. For within these poems, the sublime shows itself, with its “bald eye,” its “Doll Parts,” its “pink of the season,” its “Rockette” grandmother, its “pink birthday cake with fake roses,” its “selfie at the end of the world,” its “field of green grass, 1993,” its “baby goose.” Read this book and be reborn into a new sense of understanding what today means, and what poetry means as well. These generous poems quake with their truths, speak gently the mystical flowers of knowing into opening.
Dorothea Lasky, author of ROME
Diary is an ode to the raiments of the everyday, freewheeling with jobs, loves, fashions, the things that come and go – beautiful wins and beautiful mistakes. Diary devotedly notes the small stuff (“A robin’s egg blue tile / I found it in the dirt when I was five”) as life’s great events, looking away from nothing, even “When you called me a bitch on Christmas.”—such is the power of its piercing, casual truth telling. Diary ropes us into a circle of intimacy as it name-drops friends and the shops they went to and the song that was playing, passing poetic meaning around like a class sweater, until “Even God wore it.” It quotes 90s rock verse like it was scripture, time-traveling through the eras as our minds do, cringe moments from middle school as vivid popups coloring the now. “And I’m like, how could you not need poetry?” And I’m like, I need this kind of poetry—sincere and slapstick, bursting with life, totally here, brooking no fear. Marisa Crawford writes the poetics of an open hand.”
Ana Bozicevic, author of New Life
Sweet, surreal and playful, Marisa Crawford's DIARY is word candy.
Myriam Gurba, author of Mean
Marisa Crawford is the author of the poetry collections Reversible and The Haunted House. She is co-editor, with Megan Milks, of We Are The Baby-Sitters Club: Essays & Artwork from Grown-Up Readers, and editor of The Weird Sister Collection (Feminist Press, forthcoming 2024). Marisa’s writing has appeared in The Nation, Harper’s Bazaar, Hyperallergic, BUST, and elsewhere. She lives in New York.