Wren Hank's Lily-Livered is a stunning portrayal of trans experiences, mixing deft prose poetry and lush lyricism to profound effect.
“‘On Earth, a fish barricades her den / and emerges male two months later, / melon-head worthy of brawling and teeth,’ announces one of the brilliant sectioned poems central to Lily-livered. ‘On Mars, the sunset is blue. / She asks me about this second life / of red dirt, burnt skin. What do you enjoy // about being a man?’ Although framed by a series of ‘transiversaries,’ to describe this collection in diaristic terms would not do justice to the overlay of questions raised around gender, beauty, diet, desire, violence, medication and self-medication. An interest in refrain and cyclical structures anchors us, pleasingly counterbalanced against enjambment and an adventuresome sense of the line; we welcome cultural cameos from Shakespeare, HBO, and indie rock. This is a stunning read that showcases a sophisticated, exciting approach to contemporary poetics.”
— Sandra Beasley, Count the Waves
“Cyclical and dreamy, yet sinewy, Wren Hanks’ Lily-livered is a record of the hungers—for food, for sex, for alcohol—that simultaneously tie us to and alienate us from our bodies. Though a site of suffering and addiction, the physical in Lily-livered is also a conduit for pleasure, connection, and transformation, where ‘a girl prayed let me be sea / and ended up a man.’ Lily-livered portrays embodied living in all its ambivalent, bloody glory, while summoning the tenderness to ‘cradle everyone I cannot save, myself included.’ Hanks wakes us up to the sublime, precarious selves housed in these strange, disgusting, beautiful bodies—and you will feel more alive for having read it.”
— Luiza Flynn-Goodlett, Look Alive
Cover Artist: Denis Sarazhin
Cover Designer: Sally Franckowiak
Wren Hanks is the author of The Rise of Genderqueer (Brain Mill Press) and Prophet Fever (Hyacinth Girl Press). His recent work appears or is forthcoming in Indiana Review, Third Coast, Waxwing, and New South, and has been anthologized in Best New Poets. He lives in Brooklyn, where he is a supervisor for ACC’s New Hope program, a proactive community initiative that finds homes for vulnerable dogs, cats, and wildlife.