What people are saying about Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm
“I want every poem I read to feel as urgent as the poems in torrin a. greathouse’s new collection. I want the stakes always to feel this high. “i am afraid of disappearing by morning,” she says, “how often we swallow this fear / whole.” With prodigious formal innovation and ferocious verve, torrin charts her inner cosmology with astonishing clarity. When she writes, “there is a line where i both exist / & unexist,” I feel so grateful to be here, now, existing alongside her remarkable poems.” —Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf
“In Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm, torrin a. greathouse goes on a profoundly courageous journey, delving into the self, in search of knowledge and definition. These poems are delicately wrapped gifts, full of terror and hope, anguish and humor. greathouse softly sings an elegy for a body still breathing. They are “afraid of the red stains they make of / these queer bodies,” yet they will teach you to smile with a bloody mouth. This phenomenal collection of vulnerable strength, of existing in the in-between, in an everything, will show you all the ways pain can be both ugly and exquisite. —Logan February, author of How to Cook a Ghost
“This brain-breaking debut begins with algebraic inquiry. Leave it to torrin a. greathouse—the poet-as-speaker in many of these keen verses—to flawlessly interrogate the lyric I’s interior through the rhapsodic entry point of mathematical datum, indeed making a case for the composed self. At times sharp, dolorous, revelatory and always calculative, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm offers an intimate and harrowing economy of language—one that demands we look askance at gender’s galactic scam by challenging our ulterior ignorance through the mechanism of greathouse’s formidable aesthetic imagination. Consider the scattered sequence of poems titled “Gender of the Day” where the speaker theorizes their gender as “a paper doll,” “a lake opening up,” “a feather / falling upwards,” a “y-incision in a chest / when you take person & peel back living.” Excruciating images that crack our finite notions of gender, queering them into landscapes where both a vivid glory and inexorable transience lurk. Herein are indispensable and exacting field notes drawn from the author’s transfeminine nonbinary experience, but deeper still, is the grandeur and complexity of greathouse’s individuated lyrics that ring with a wild vibrancy. With this promising first collection, there’s no way out but in and as dutiful readers we are made better by such tenderness.” —Jabari Jawan, associate editor of Four Chambers Press
“if i am not boy & not girl, / what am i defined as? what value do i hold?” is the question explored, beaten, and cherished in this phenomenal work. torrin a. greathouse presents gender as an endless inquiry, weaving imagery and metaphor like the tapestry of an ancient society’s history, greathouse’s exploration of queerness, trauma, and transmisogyny in Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm illustrates life within the world as it truly is: undefinable. Glorious, innovative, and elegant in its vulnerability, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm is an instant classic in the worlds of poetry and of queer literature.” —Khaya “Khalypso” Osborne, editor and poet
torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer, cripple-punk from Southern California. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Black Napkin Press. Their work is published or forthcoming in Bettering American Poetry, The Offing, Duende, Apogee, Tinderbox, Frontier, Lunch Ticket, Assaracus, and Glass: Journal of Poetry. She is a 2016 Best New Poets and Pushcart Prize nominee, and a semifinalist for the Adroit Poetry Prize. When they are not writing, their hobbies include pursuing a bachelor’s degree, awkwardly drinking coffee at parties, and trying to find some goddamn size 13 heels.
Selected poems can be read at: