A collection of poems bursting with life.

Recklessly sensual, provocative and profoundly curious, Meissner's coming-of-age poems seek to anchor their place in a messy world, blurring the edges of hard borders and disparate identities. Finding joy, connection and determination in desperate spaces, as well as the slippery terrain of a changing self, Meissner's voice is at once a reckoning, a proclamation, and an open question. Sprinkled with the author's illustrations, the book's multidisciplinary approach also includes lesson plans, originally utilized in a women's prison, that invite the reader to write their own way out of polarizing dichotomies — and into the vast grey space of what it means to be alive.


Illustration from the book by Caits Meissner

Advance Praise.

“Caits Meissner's Let it Die Hungry is a stunningly potent archive of surviving. In poems, drawings, notes, and workbook style experiments, Meissner generously shares her tools of becoming while simultaneously reinventing what a book of poems might be. In each of these modes it is clear: Meissner believes in the powers of seeing, testifying, and saying what is most difficult. Running through the blood of this book I hear Audre Lorde's charge: ‘Your silence will not protect you.’ From lyric narratives to achingly lucid prose, this book is ardor-medicine against oblivion. These poems ‘[spill] past the heart's armor.’”

— Aracelis Girmay, author of The Black Maria

"Caits Meissner writes in the tradition of Levertov and Forche.  A clear eyed witness with an intense lyric sensibility, her poems illuminate the shadows of self and society that lie outside the margins of acceptable discourse.  There is no point at which she endeavors to comfort or assuage.  Which is to say, Meissner is that rare poet who can simultaneously and sincerely give a damn… while also giving zero fucks."

— John Murillo, author of Up Jump the Boogie


"Caits Meissner’s Let It Die Hungry deals with the difficulty of the body, the “human robe” (as she aptly calls it) that hinders and endangers the soul beneath. It’s an intense book—at times violent and vulnerable— a dangerous but brave place for readers, filled with dreams, fantasy, nightmare, all mixed-in with stark reality. These poems are human and wise, and in the writing prompts, the reader is helped along in the struggle to better understand oneself. This is a wildly exciting debut book."

–Bianca Stone, author of Someone Else's Wedding Vows


"In this collection dedicated to the women poets of Afghanistan that concludes with a poem for the women poets at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Caits Meissner writes with great urgency of lives and landscapes scarred by conflict and pain. But even as her rangy, associative poems take us into terrain of turmoil, her compassion for her subjects offers the possibility of reconciliation through the very recognition that poems provide."

— David Groff, author of Clay


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