Paperback Price: 15.95
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-938584-10-7

Ebook Price: 9.99
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-938584-19-0

Selected Poem

A Girl Thief’s Illustrated Primer

To guarantee safety, go back inside and count
to noon. To make honey by honest trees,
press for time. Either way, all numbers are hellhound
as well as holy, but what did you expect?

A little divine torture has always been
the way in, and waiting for daylight
robbery won’t leave you deadly. Or, take my
word away and light up the teeth in the tumbler

all at once, like the locked door is a yawning
god and you the very last Alleluia
at once, as if your heart shredded its school skirt
and shotgunned over the yard for home.

Be need with a black glove riding the wrist.
Be first-felony Eve in the red telephone booth
outside the garden, a battle coal
dialing herself back into the war.

They kept you on the wrong side all along.
Hold a tension wrench closer. Treat your gates
like they were lovers and listen for the Yes.
And there it is, but look at what you found inside.


Winner of the 2013 Kundiman Poetry Prize

“Lo Kwa Mei-en’s Yearling is brilliant—blindingly smart and lit at midnight—hard and beautiful, so sharp ‘you could baptize a battlefield in it.’ Through its excavation of memory, trauma, girlhood, the body itself, it electrifies form and narrative in poems that are rich, journeyed, dark, resilient. So brave, too, in their song of recovery: wings and war and eggs and maps and scars and somehow, in the morning, vision. I am in awe of this book, will no doubt reread and reread it.”
—Anne Marie Rooney

“You can’t step into Yearling and then come back out the same. You just can’t. Lo Kwa Mei-en’s words burn elementally—fire, water, fire, water— beatering you, halving you, splitting you, with symmetrical defiance and embrace, ever and again. A luminescent and branding volume of poems that lights everything on fire with one hand and tends coals with the other.”
—Brenda Brueggemann

“Birds and burdens are the glorious stuff of Lo Kwa Mei-en’s stunning first collection, Yearling. Liberated and vulnerable, fierce yet open wide, Mei-en’s poems are bent on burnished edges, making fast breaks to the celestial, and unfurling in curiosity as often as discovery. Ophelia, Pinnochia, and The Body all stand in service to the poet’s request to “know me harder.” And I, as her reader, want very much to do so.”
—Betsy Wheeler

“Defiant and uncategorizable, Lo Kwa Mei-en’s Yearling, with its teeming species, battles, and passions, read like an illuminated manuscript: mysterious, visceral, awe-full. Hers are some of the most enviable poems I have ever read, and herald Mei-en as the new standard bearer for innovative structure, terrifying acknowledgment, ecstatic statement, and, I daresay, beauty.”
—Kathy Fagan

“Yearling sets a reader up for pyrotechnics from the start, and it delivers.”
Poetry Northwest

“The poems in [Mei-en’s] debut collection Yearling are visceral explorations of the connection between body and language, crackling with taut energies.”
Poetry Ireland Review

“Lo Kwa Mei-en’s inaugural poetry collection Yearling asks no easy questions and provides no single answer—rather, it gives us duality warped over and over.”
The Journal

“The poems in Lo Kwa Mei-en’s Yearling are poems of difference. They are poems of late capitalism. They embody a cyborg poetics: Lo Kwa Mei-en’s poems don’t attempt to return to or resurrect the canon; they assimilate the canon’s forms, its weaponry, and soldier on into its horizon, not with a battle cry, but with a young girl’s call for self-care.”
Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Guernica

Yearling fully understands life doesn’t live in compartments, it is awash in compartment-like structures that we keep spending time in our lives trying to identify.”
Kenyon Review



  1. Sundress Authors’ Picks for Best Reads of 2015 | The Sundress Blog - December 28, 2015

    […] Yearling […]

  2. May the meek inherit something gorgeous. | live in the layers - April 21, 2017

    […] On this morning before Earth Day, I offer this ominous psalm by Lo Kwa Mei-en from her 2015 collection, Yearling. […]