Say It Hurts

Praise for Say It Hurts

Summe’s Say It Hurts is a manual for growing up that grown-ups still need. It’s both a diary entry and a to-do list, a confessional and a set of instructions. To come of age as a queer person often means spending years trying to find the secret room where you most belong; Summe has taken that room and bulldozed the walls. This book has the answers that, for so long, felt like secrets.

Olivia Gatwood, Life of the Party

Alive with moats of pink catfish, and gardens of boomerangs, Lisa Summe’s debut collection, Say It Hurts, draws us what we need most: new shapes of loss, new contours of love. And because we need it, Summe paints a vibrant queerness onto buzz cuts, backseats, and sleepovers. Forthright and declarative, Summe writes, in the book’s opening poem, “When a lesbian / writes a poem / it’s a lesbian poem.” What a queer wonder, to play light as a feather, stiff as a board. What a queer wonder to be both alive and capable of love, in a world that prefers we be neither. Summe writes, “see how I tried not to write a love poem but here it comes,” and it does come, and we love it.

Kayleb Rae Candrilli, Water I Won’t Touch

In Say It Hurts, Summe shows us what it can feel like to come home and come out again and again in the Midwest, home where a father can be “both nest & hawk,” home where a ten-year-old girl draws her dream wedding to a girl on a sheet of graph paper in math class, home where her body stands “steady like a home,” home where she misses the girl she loved and where she swims in the Allegheny River, home where the poem is the place, and the girl she loved is there, too.

Julia Koets, Pine

Order Say It Hurts from YesYes Books, Bookshop, or Barnes and Noble.