When Creation Falls

I’m delighted to announce that my poetry collection When Creation Falls is now available. I’m so pleased to be able to share it with you, and I think you’ll agree with me that Meadowlark Books did an amazing job with the design.

This collection is both deeply personal (beginning with my childhood in Kansas) and political (because there’s no way to disentangle the personal from the political). It arises from my fury at the injustices and horror in the world, but does not, I hope, give into cynicism or despair.

Here’s what the poet Eric McHenry had to say about it:

Izzy Wasserstein is broadly and deeply learned, but also committed to the clear utterance. The poems in When Creation Falls are as transparent as glass—not a window, but a corrective lens, restoring detail and dignity to world of distortions and cynical simplifications. This is a poet furious at injustice but suspicious of fury. I kept thinking, as I read, of Auden’s ‘September 1, 1939’—‘All I have is a voice/ To undo the folded lie’ —and it was satisfying to discover that poem’s last line in one of this book’s last poems: ‘Show an affirming flame.’ Auden, of course, infamously renounced the poem, and Wasserstein acknowledges that fraught history in order to craft a durable new affirmation for her-self: ‘And if my words/ become ugly, if I recant/ every last kind thought,/ if the lines of my face/ twist in cruelty,/ may these soundings/ outlast me.’ In a poem addressed ‘To the Child I Will Never Have,’ her final piece of advice is ‘Make something beautiful.’ Someone must have told her the same thing.

When Creation Falls is available through Meadowlark Books, Amazon, or order it through your favorite bookstore. If you’d prefer a personalized copy, and don’t mind that I’m not Amazon Prime and have to charge for shipping, reach out to me through my contact page.

The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls

My horror story “The Good Mothers’ Home for Wayward Girls” is now available in audio and full-text from PseudoPod.

It’s a story that is dear to me, in part because I wrote the first draft at Clarion West 2017, so it will always be associated for me with my wonderful experiences there, and the amazing friends I made. Unlike Clarion West, though, the housing in my story isn’t very pleasant.

The narration by Tatiana Grey is amazing, everything I could have hoped and more. I found myself experiencing my own words in a new and breathless way.

What horror have you read recently that’s stayed with you, dear reader?

What I’m Reading, March 2018

This morning I want to share with you all some fiction that I’ve read and loved over the last few weeks. There’s no particular order here, just words that have been on my mind.

A Witches Guide to Escape: a Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies” by Alix E. Harrow. Witches, libraries, endangered adolescents, and a defense of escapism. I loved this story, and if you’ve ever had a kind librarian give  you just the book you needed, I bet you will too.

And Yet” by A. T. Greenblatt. I was fortunate enough to get to see an early draft of this story at Clarion West 2017. It’s a haunted house story, a multiverse story, and a moving contemplation of just what cost we might pay to try to fix horrors from the past. You may think you know what’s coming here, but you don’t. Greenblatt keeps us guessing right to the very end. Come for the haunted house, stay for the keenly observed sibling relationship.

Like a River Loves the Sky” by Emma Törzs. Another story that I first saw as an early draft at Clarion West (Team Eclipse, you are killing it!), “Like a River Loves the Sky” explores questions of friendship, loss, loneliness, and what it means to truly love something. That may sound like well-trod ground, but not under Törzs’s deft hand: she makes it new, breathless, moving. It’s the rare story that features dead dogs that can win me over, but this one absolutely does.

Amatka by Karin Tidbeck. It’s nearly impossible to describe the brilliance of Tidbeck’s novel without spoilers. There’s a city where objects continue to exist only if people habitually re-affirm their existence, an increasingly oppressive government, and a growing sense that what has long been barely controlled will soon be uncontrolled. Tidbeck’s novel takes on systems of power, queerness, and the power–and limitations–of language in ways that I’ve never seen before.


Those are some of the pieces that have most stayed with me of late. What have you been reading?

Unplaces: an Atlas of Non-Existence

I’m pleased to be able to share with you my story of Unplaces, antifa, queer love, and the importance of memory, “Unplaces: an Atlas of Non-Existence” at Clarkesworld.

It’s a story that brings together many of my obsessions, and includes references to two stories I love, Borges’ “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” and Theodora Goss’ “Cimmeria: From the Journal of Imaginary Anthropology.” You don’t need to have read either story to make sense of mine, but they’re both fantastic, so you should read them anyway. 🙂