Poet and essayist Zefyr Lisowski's prize-winning book
GIRL WORK, a book-length meditation on sexual violence and feminized labor, centers hybrid-form and prose poems exploring haunting, labor, sexual trauma, and the assertion of a gender- nonconforming self in our current political moment. Written in injunctions to the self, to past assailants, and to friends, GIRL WORK challenges canonical representations of pain as punitive, redemptive, or separable from the environmental conditions it springs from. Throughout GIRL WORK, a self is restored from the detritus of memory—flashes of sexual violence, pop cultural touchstones like the movie The Ring, the music of Ke$ha, the sudden death of a father, the paintings of Henry Darger, and more. Winner of the 2022 Book Award from Noemi Press.
Poetry. Film. LGBTQ+ Studies.
”Zefyr Lisowski’s GIRL WORK is, among so many other powerful things, a meditation on the passage of time. It befriends memory even as it interrogates it. Lisowski commits to the work of considering the body, and in doing so makes ethereal what could otherwise be grueling: violence, aging, beauty. Here is the rare collection that resists nostalgia, yet welcomes the past as an estranged lover or former friend. GIRL WORK is not merely embodied—it is hungry, it is cold, and it remembers what happened. Lisowski makes art of what one can never forget.” – Cyrée Jarelle Johnson
Zefyr Lisowski is a poet and essayist from the Great Dismal Swamp, North Carolina. A poetry co-editor of the Whiting Award winning Apogee Journal, she's the author of two books, Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and GIRL WORK, winner of the 2022 Noemi Book Prize. A 2023 NYFA/NYSCA Fellow and 2023 Queer|Art Fellow, Zefyr has received further support from Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, Blue Mountain Center, the Center for the Humanities, and Sundress Academy for the Arts. She lives online at zeflisowski.com.