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The Girl Who Became a Rabbit

The Girl Who
Became a Rabbit

Hub City Press, September 2024

Winner of the 2023 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize

The Girl Who Became a Rabbit is a book-length lyric, a dark, ruminative poem that pushes the limits of the prose-poetic form to explore how the body carries and shapes grief and what it means to tell a story.

Examining reclaimed narratives of embodiment, gentle hauntings, and fables of the body, Emilie Menzel approaches the body as a home we consciously build, spinning myths and fairytales as ways to rewrite the body’s history. 

In the spirit of Maggie Nelson and Max Porter, Menzel’s writing is wild, lush, recursive, and intentionally messy. A mesmerizing and unique debut, The Girl Who Became a Rabbit intersects fable and trauma, femininity and creatureliness, and imagines the transformation of the body, perhaps, into language.

Advance Reader Copy of The Girl Who Became a Rabbit


for The Girl Who Became a Rabbit

Molly McCully Brown

Judge's Citation for 2023 New Southern Voices Poetry Prize; Author of Places I've Taken My Body

The world of The Girl Who Became a Rabbit is at once fabular and unflinchingly ours. And, in it, the body is at once a wilderness and a refuge, a site of grief and violence and a territory of fantastic transformation: “Within the forest, I real all desire as assault, all flocks of birds as /leaping hands, all hands: the creation of hands.” Recursive, ambitious, strange and beautiful, this book-length lyric explores the way trauma and abuse make a creature of us, and asks what it’s possible to become in their aftermath.  “The history of a / child is the history of a body” Menzel writes. And, as if in recognition of this fact, the poem balances the registers of fairytale and scientific text. It is telling you a story. It is also probing—again and again—what telling a story does.  I fell into this world of this book—its rabbits, and soft deer, sliced cow-eyes and wolves— the way you wade into a cold body of water, slowly and then all at once. I couldn’t put it down. And, when I finished, I was changed.

Diana Khoi Nguyen

Author of Ghost Of  and Root Fractures

In this astonishing debut, Emilie Menzel employs logic as a poetics of longing and grief, a vital instrument untangling trauma and its aftermath. Here the poet is haruspex with her scalpel of lyric, turning her gaze to a cow’s eye, okapi, dik dik, snow leopard, owl, piglet, and other creatures. Menzel writes, “Why would a description of a rabbit be important, hold import, hold importance?” and it’s clear in the book’s intricate and recombinant prose stanzas that animals and the construction of fables gestates “a body relearning how to navigate the world as only one body.” Her images are both seductive and unflinching, electrifying and terrifying. Her lyric is the elixir I wish I  could gift anyone who’s experienced girlhood.

Kelly Link

Author of The Book of Love

A delectably nimble collection, ranging in scope from the ordinary to the divine—and all points between. Emilie Menzel is a marvelous writer and cataloguer of what connects and estranges us from our lives.

Dara Barrois/Dixon

Author of Tolstoy Killed Anna Karenina

If what you wish is to be for a while in a world that will inspire you to think playfully and with kindness and persistence and an openness to that which is not immediately beheld, you have found your book and your invitation to enter another world that happens to be in this one. Menzel works magic. I love this book.

Emilie Menzel by Sean T. Bailey

News and Events

The Recent and Upcoming
for The Girl Who Became a Rabbit

September 10, 2024

Book Launch Day

Publication day for The Girl Who Became a Rabbit. Details forthcoming.

April 1, 2024

ARCs Available

Advance reader copies now available to reviewers and booksellers upon request. Contact Julie Jarema at Hub City Press for details.

December 11, 2023

Preorders Open 

December 11, 2023

Cover Reveal

The cover for The Girl Who Became a Rabbit features artwork by Anne Siems, design by Kate McMullen, and hand lettering by Julie Jarema.

August 24, 2023

Selected as Winner of the New Southern Voices Poetry Prize

Molly McCullen Brown has selected The Girl Who Became a Rabbit as the winner of Hub City Press' New Southern Voices Poetry Prize.

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