Zefyr blood box launch flier copy

Blood Box: A Book Launch and Reading

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Blood Box: A Book Launch and Reading
November 8, 2019 7:00 PM
November 8, 2019 9:00 PM
$10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
October 17, 2019
Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
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208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Zefyr blood box launch flier copy


Join host Jesse Rice-Evans and readers Joey De Jesus, Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, Spencer Williams, Chase Berggrun, and Zefyr Lisowski to launch Zefyr Lisowski’s debut murder grief lesbian short collection of poetry, Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019). From the publisher:

Blood Box, the deliciously haunting debut short collection from poet Zefyr Lisowski, takes us inside the infamous 1892 axe murders of Abby and Andrew Borden through twenty-six wide-ranging, stylistically experimental persona poems. Lisowski re-introduces us to mythologized spinster Lizzie Borden as we’ve never seen her before: a girl wielding an axe, yes, but also a girl trapped—in the boxes of age, of hunger, of loneliness, of blame. Lizzie, who was acquitted of the double murder of her father and stepmother, yet continues to haunt our cultural psyche over a hundred years later. Even now, “Violence dances with us like ghosts.”

In these pages, the notorious crime and its cast of characters serve as a jumping-off point for a textured exploration of inherited violence, queer intimacy, and the way family can be “another geometry, another violence too.” Blood Box is Lizzie’s story, but it’s also the story of grief, of selfhood, of trans and queer becoming. Lisowski’s Lizzie Borden is as sweet, sad, spooky, and haunted as a girl with an axe ever can be.

This event will run from 7 – 9 PM, with readings starting by 7:30. Come and be spooky!

A NOTE ON ACCESS: The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is on the second floor of The LGBT Community Center, with a working elevator; the building and Bureau are both wheelchair accessible, and chairs with backs will be provided. Wine, beer, & soft drinks will be provided by donation. Please refrain from wearing scented products.


Copies of Blood Box will be available for purchase at the Bureau. To reserve a copy please write to us at Please support the Bureau by buying books from us. Thank you!




Zefyr Lisowski is a trans & queer Southerner, the author of Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and a Pisces. She’s a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal and has received support from Tin House Writers Workshop, Sundress Academy for the Arts, The CUNY Graduate Center, and elsewhere. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle, DIAGRAM, Literary Hub, Nat. Brut., and the Texas Review, among other places. She’s currently working on Wolf Inventory, a collaborative film about ghost stories, ritual, and feminized sexual violence in the South, with filmmaker and artist Candace Thompson. Find her and more of her work online at


A fat femme from NC, Jesse Rice-Evans is a former waitress and current doctoral student. She teaches workshops on digital writing and access-centered pedagogy. Read her poetry and essays in WUSSY, Nat. Brut, honey & lime, and others.


Joey De Jesus is the author of HOAX (Operating System, 2020), NOCT- The Threshold of Madness (The Atlas Review, 2019), and co-author, alongside Sade LaNay, of Writing Voice into the Archive vol. 1, organized and edited by Jennifer Tamayo with support from UC Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender. Joey formerly co-edited poetry at Apogee Journal, is an Advisory Board Member at No, Dear Magazine. Joey received the 2019-20 BRIC ArtFP Project Room Commission and 2017 NYFA/NYSCA Fellowship in Poetry. Poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poet’s Poem-A-Day, Bettering American Poetry, BOAAT, The Brooklyn Rail, The Literary Review, and several other venues and installed at Artists Space, The New Museum, Franklin Street Works and elsewhere. Joey is running for New York State Assembly of District 38 in 2020 and needs your support.


Chase Berggrun is a trans woman poet. She is the author of R E D (Birds, LLC, 2018). Her work has appeared in American Poetry Review, jubilat, Poetry, and elsewhere. She received her MFA from NYU.


Cyree Jarelle Johnson is a librarian and writer from Piscataway, New Jersey. They hold a MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. He is the author of two books, SLINGSHOT (2019) and How Greek Immigrants Made America Home (2018). Cyree’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, Rewire News, The Root, and MOTHERBOARD/Vice. They have given speeches and lectures at The White House, TEDxColumbia University, Brown University, The University of Pennsylvania, community organizations, churches, festivals, and conferences throughout the United States. His work has been supported by Davis Putter Scholarship Fund, Astraea Foundation, Leeway Foundation, Disabled Writers, Culture/Strike, and the donations of countless community members who believe in what he does.


Spencer Williams is from Chula Vista, California. She is the author of the chapbook Alien Pink (2017, The Atlas Review Chapbook Series) and has work featured in Apogee, [PANK], Bat City Review, Pacifica, and IndieWire. In her spare time, she forgets to utilize the avocados she’s bought until it’s too late and they’ve all gone soft. She has at least seven Neopets accounts she forgot the passwords to, and received a BA in English and Cinematic Arts from University of Iowa. She’s currently an MFA candidate in poetry at Rutgers-Newark.