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Crumb-Sized: Poems

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Marlena Chertock grew up crumb-sized, with a rare bone disorder. She uses this skeletal dysplasia and chronic pain as a bridge to scientific poetry, often exploring the rich images in science and medicine, threading genetics, space, and nature into her work.
With frank humor, Chertock takes on varied and critical aspects of identity—femininity, gender, sexuality—as they re
Published August 15th 2017 by Unnamed Press
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L. D. Russell
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Marlena Chertock's latest collection of poetry is as lovely to read as it is to hold. Her words are open, honest, unflinchingly brave, attuned to pain, and uplifting. This little book is so kind to the hand and eye, its cover textured like worn denim, the poems interspersed with images unfolding a rhyming of their own. We owe Chertock a debt of gratitude for giving voice to those in our midst who all too often go un-noted, or noticed for the wrong reasons. As if from the crumbs of calcified bone ...more
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-reads
What an expression through poetry. I do not read a lot of poetry but felt very connected to this work.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Marlena Chertock embodies the spirit of making lemonade from lemons in her collection Crumb-Sized. I love lemonade. A primary theme of Marlena’s work is her physical challenges and pain. In “Rikkud” she writes “my hips and knees are kindling / and I can’t give them more air / or my bones become crisps // the only bonfire dancing.” The voice is whimsical, but honest and vulnerable, and the poems feel in constant motion, perhaps like the orbits of planets. Marlena provides lovely descriptions of f ...more
Tara Campbell
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The first thing you notice about the book—so the first thing I’ll mention—is how beautifully it’s designed. It is an amazing example of how form can both align with and augment content. “Crumb-sized” is small in size, with minimalist design that subtly evokes Chertock’s interest in space. The inside is just as thoughtfully put together as the poems are, with interstitial graphics evolving as readers progress through the book.

Now on to the content: Chertock explores her skeletal dysplasia and chr
Tamara Sellman
May 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful poems and prose from the POV of someone who is technically disabled but has the mindset of someone very much able in spite of their physical differences. I'll read anything she writes, for sure. ...more
Leticia Adames
Jul 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was powerful, my mother is disabled and I couldnt help but think of her while reading. Her poems aren't cryptic they are clear and invite you to take a walk in her shoes and her mind for a while. ...more
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Marlena Chertock has two books of poetry, Crumb-sized (Unnamed Press, 2017) and On that one-way trip to Mars (Bottlecap Press, 2016). She uses her skeletal dysplasia and chronic pain as a bridge to scientific poetry. Marlena is the Co-Chair of OutWrite, Washington, D.C.'s annual LGBTQ literary festival, and regularly moderates or speaks on panels at literary conferences and festivals. Find her at ...more

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