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Lanternfly August

In Lanternfly August, Robin Gow explores the emotional geographies of home and queer identity through the lens of an often-demonized species of insect.

“In Lanternfly August, Robin Gow intertwines the metamorphosis of outlaws to implore, ‘Will I still be beautiful without my hunger?’ The formally inventive poems meditate on unheralded grace despite incremental apocalypse. By declaring, ‘Will someone take a picture of me while I’m still breathing?’ Gow teaches us to survive by embracing ephemerality over futurity.”

– Sarah Sala, author of The Devil’s Lake

“Robin Gow’s Lanternfly August is a marvelous feat. Across this collection, Gow asks us to consider who or what is marked as invasive—like the lanternfly and the tree of heaven, which have the ‘wrong body’ or exist in the ‘wrong context’ and can be killed or cut down without consequence. These poems posit new pathways to identification in the face of such estrangement so that we might imagine anew what flourishing might come after ruin.”

– Donika Kelly, author of bestiary and The Renunciations

“The title ‘Lanternfly August’ describes a point in the lanternfly’s life cycle when it becomes a dramatic bright red, but Robin Gow’s lushly volatile, shimmering book about gender, entomology, bodily experience, and local memory shuffles its chronology backwards and forwards like dealing cards, immersing us in the midst of change. This compelling book explores ways of being inside and outside the body simultaneously (‘My walls were thoraxes,’ ‘Gloves growing around fingers’). It meditates on violence (‘Raise your foot high. Become a boy.’). It witnesses, it confides, experiments with an “I” both singular and plural, weighing metaphors of infestation with belonging.”

– Trace Peterson, author of Since I Moved in

Cover Artist: George Shaw

Cover Designer: Sally Franckowiak & Jerrod Schwarz

Robin Gow is a trans poet and YA/Middle Grade author from rural Pennsylvania. They are the author of several poetry collections including Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy. Gow also writes queer YA/Middle Grade novels such as Ode to My First Car, A Million Quiet Revolutions, and Dear Mothman. He manages community programs at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, building celebratory spaces for the local LGBTQ+ folks. As an autistic person, Robin feels passionate about celebrating neurodivergent folks in the queer community. They live in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with their partner, best friend, and pugs, Gertrude and Eddie.

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