Lichen Loves Stone

Jen Crawford took up a creative writing position at the University of Canberra in 2015 and also had her first child, Theo. Until recently she taught at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and before that, at the University of Auckland. She was born in Aotearoa, raised there and in the Philippines, and hold a PhD from the University of Wollongong, Australia. Her book Koel will be published by Cordite Books in early 2016.

 Lichen Loves Stone
By Jen Crawford • 2015 •  $10
Design by Jeff Sanner

In Over Hear, Lisa Samuels describes Jen Crawford as “a transcultural poet whose poems think with the body.” They also think through lush word-sounds toward the world existing outside of us: lichen, stones, weeds, an abandoned house, flies. Crawford’s poems live in the pivot “between the seen unfelt and the felt unseen.” This chapbook provides a good introduction to the important work of a poet born in Aotearoa/New Zealand, who has also lived in the Philippines, Singapore, and now Australia.


from Lichen Loves Stone:


I love you you come back,

hatches undog, ants

stream the rope out

of loose husks in the hold

it must be you, come back

as ants, as honeydew uneaten by ants

dripping onto the trees,

sooty mould swarming

over the stems and leaves. exhausted,

seasonless, vigorous


adorn me to meet you

as formic acid, as shells bleached

out in an ungroomed place,

the springing up of a stinging tree

as swelling belly,

ruin, the lack

of a canopy gap