Praise for Reversible
Rarely am I so submerged in the details of a poet's mind and world as I am with Marisa Crawford's work. It's bright and glitter roll-on scented, with a pitch-perfect 90s soundtrack. It's nostalgic, dark, surprising yet warmly familiar. I mourn for the girlhood of this book. In Reversible, Crawford has created an incredibly moving and vivid archive of growing up—part monologue, part lyric, part ethnography—distinct, striking, tender, and enchanting. --Morgan Parker
Marisa Crawford's poems give me a kind of ecstatic pleasure, as all the sensory and social strangeness of 90s youth come flooding back. I will never understand how she can remember all these details and evoke them with such feeling—she must have an off-the-charts EQ, and also an off-the-charts whatever the "Q" is that measures the ability to remember every outfit you ever wore. "E" is also for empathy: in Crawford's poems, everything that happens to her friends happens to her. And then I'm in their glow, and everything that happened to Crawford and her friends happens to me. Her poems also know, better than any I've ever read, that fashion is imagery; ditto for friendships and stickers and backyard pools and the things girls do to their bodies in their bedrooms late at night. It doesn't matter that the box of old cassette tapes that you hope will be in your parents' basement might not be findable: all we want to do is go searching alongside her, following her flashlight beam as it lights up the feelings inside the objects we put away or gave away or forgot we ever had. --Becca Klaver
Dear M, <3 <3 when i think of you, i think of the most emo-heart parts of 90s songs; like the battering part in Third Eye Blind's "How's It Gonna Be," when that white guy bellows "how's it gonna be / when you don't know me anymore." Reversible is the glossy mixtape of girl in becoming; in the way your 8th grade algebra class was simultaneously mind-blowing and devastating: things can both connect to and undermine each other at the same time. I can relate to the poems' "you" or "we" in ways mediated by the "trinity" of race, class, & gender—as the poems here certainly locate themselves within—or in the other similarly dangerous trinity of: are you on your period, what's your rising sign, & who's your favorite Spice Girl. But that "I" & "we" is so inconstant, so subject to radical revisions of the idea of girlhood as lived aesthetic and feminism as process, procedure. You tell us, Marisa, tell us tell you tell me just how it's gonna be.
Like a favorite, much-loved, much-washed t-shirt passed from biological sister to soul sister to sorority sister, Marisa Crawford's Reversible holds the shape of the women who have touched it. To be reversible in Crawford's world is to expose the seams that construct young women's identities in girl culture, the give-and-take between popular culture and consumer culture and the lived experience of girls; to be able to put on and take off a series of selves.