Slam Poet Lily Myers Is Releasing A Novel In Verse About Eating Disorders & Self-Worth — SEE THE COVER
Slam poetry sensation Lily Myers is taking the leap into the written word with This Impossible Light , a novel in verse about body image, eating disorders, and the scars we inherit from our parents.
You may recognize Myers from the video of her performance of "Shrinking Woman" at 2013's College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational, where it won Best Love Poem. Five million people have watched the performance; if you haven't, take the opportunity to do so now. The poem, like the novel, speaks to the trauma of living with a mother with an eating disorder and how that experience can impact one's own self-worth. On a broader level, however, Myers speaks about how women have inherited these eating disorders for generations — shrinking to take up less space, shrinking to make room for men.
"[My mother] wanes while my father waxes," she says. "His stomach has grown round with wine, late-night's oysters, poetry, a new girlfriend who was overweight as a teenager, but my dad reports she's now 'crazy about fruit.' It was the same with his parents. As my grandmother became frail and angular, her husband swelled to red-round cheeks, rotund stomach, and I wonder if my lineage is one of women shrinking, making space for the entrance of men into their lives. Not knowing how to fill it back up once they leave. I have been taught accommodation."
This Impossible Light centers on 16-year-old Ivy, a girl whose world has been upended. Her father moved out; her mom has withdrawn into herself; her brother left for college; and her best friend came back from Paris more concerned with boys than friendship. But Ivy's biggest challenges stem from her frustrations with her own body: she can't stop growing, can't stop expanding. Though she takes refuge in her favorite subject — math — she can't help but feel insecure about her changing body.
But one day she skips a meal, and she feels a sudden jolt of empowerment. She notices her mom has stopped eating, too. In an attempt to find purpose and control, she begins to eat less. Sometimes, she doesn't eat at all, and when eats too much, she purges. But what begins as an empowering act suddenly becomes something far more dangerous and unhealthy, and it could impact Ivy's ability to participate in an upcoming math competition. Now, she has to figure out how to wade through her own illness while grappling with her mother's. Most of all, she must find a path to becoming her own person.
See the cover for This Impossible Light below:
This Impossible Light is available for pre-order now.