Brenna Womer

Cover Art: Always Looking by Skyler Simpson

honeypot

“Brenna Womer’s honeypot gives us familiar literary forms—including pristine prose paragraphs, lyric strophes, and short fictions—only to dismantle them for feminist ends. Frequently engaging questions of language, agency, and the body, Womer’s formal innovations call into question normative assumptions about how narrative should or ought to behave, giving us instead a lyricism that ‘thrives in areas of disruption.’ By moving between moments of wholeness and provocative fragmentation, Womer begins work toward an alternative lexicon, one more hospitable to women’s voices. Here, she proves that a new line of inquiry demands new forms of discourse, ultimately creating—through her deft experimentation with received forms—a vehicle that fully does justice to the complexity of her thinking. This is an astonishing debut.”

Kristina Marie Darling, author of Dark Horse: Poems and Look to Your Left:
A Feminist Poetics of Spectacle

“Everything about honeypot—including the title—is sensual, is tactile, is something you can roll over your tongue and under your nose and luxuriate in. Whether poetry, prose, or in-between; whether realism or something floating farther afield, Womer makes it so vivid and vital you can’t help but get caught completely in its web.”

      Amber Sparks, author of The Unfinished World

“Slipping easily from genre to genre and form to form, proudly saying the supposedly unsayable, refusing ever to balk in the name of imposed politeness or unfair expectation, Brenna Womer breaks all the rules except the most important one: to tell your own truth unswervingly, in the best way you know how, no matter what. This is a smart, brave first collection, brimming with beauty and empathy and joy.”

      Matt Bell, author of Scrapper

Cover Art by Max Rippon


Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance

“Brenna Womer is an absolute force on the page. With bold, incisive prose and frank clarity of voice, Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance examines familial inheritance and self-determination and what it means to inhabit the female body on one’s own terms. This hybrid chapbook is essential and necessary, and a beautiful debut from an immensely talented writer.”

Anne Valente, author of Our Hearts Will Burn Us Down

“Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance evokes a state of becoming: a journey marked by Ragu jars and crawdads, French Roast Folgers and Forever Blonde shampoo. Brenna Womer steps lightly between poetry and prose, offering a narrative at once tenderly personal and fiercely honest. What does it mean, she asks, to exist inside the fraught territory of a woman’s body? Her answers will twist around your heart, tighten to the pulse of I am, I am, I am.”

Allegra Hyde, author of Of This New World

“In Atypical Cells, Brenna Womer writes about captured things: butterflies and crawdads, mothers and cervixes. She writes that her dad ‘was not used to telling me the hard things,’ so she tells us herself. The constrictions that are hard marriage, hard Mason jars, hard examination tables at the doctors’ offices, and hard stances on soft bodies, are, through Womer’s glorious jail-key-turning sentences, what sets these butterflies, crawdads, mothers, and bodies free.”

Nicole Walker, author of Micrograms

Forthcoming Publications

cost of living (chapbook) Finishing Line Press

“a liberation” (poem) Birdcoat Quarterly

“‘Into the Middle Distance’: Clarence Major’s Thunderclouds in the Forecast” (review) New Letters

“Thick Like Me” (essay) NELLE

“Cultivating Empathy Through Mimetic Forms” (craft essay) Grist

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Publications

Fiction

“Nesting” Pleiades 39.1

“Sugar Glass” cream city
review 42.1

The Cart or The EggQuarterly West 90

Anatomy of a Father, of a MooseFugue 51

“What’s Mine is Yours” Bayou Magazine 65

“Just Like Mama Never Made” Dewpoint 6

“Fraîche” Sierra Nevada Review 27

“Patsy Sings For Me” Midwestern Gothic 18

“Chimera” NEAT. 3

Creative Nonfiction

HunnyPithead Chapel 10.10

UnbrainedHoney Literary 2

Flesh CreepAutofocus (Spring 2021)

“Cape Fair” Cimarron Review 213

RotOyez Review 48

It’s the end of the world as we know itCleaver Magazine 30

DistancingBending Genres 15

Response List for Trumpers This ThanksgivingMcSweeney’s Internet Tendency, November 2019

Apt 103elsewhere 16

We Are Not SaintsIndiana Review 40.1

Hypochondria, or The DiseaseDIAGRAM 18.1

“Sate” The Normal School 10.2

MotherlodeBooth (Spring 2016/Fall 2017)

Forever BlondeHippocampus Magazine (June 2017)

CukesdecomP (May/June 2017)

“Empire Blue” New South 10.1

“Pet Euthanasia Consent Form” The Pinch 37.1

Wüsthof Silverpoint II 10-Piece SetGrist 9

Poetry

paigePacifica Literary Review 17.3

i left your blood on my ankleYes Poetry (Fall 2021)

the weed” & “two rusted chains, danglingNo Contact 23

“cost of living” North American Review 306.2

shitty father’s day poem” & “al pastorLigeia Magazine Summer 2021

a room, unfinishedBellingham Review 82

dew claw” & “I’m here today, andGone Lawn 41

the bathQ/A Poetry 43

Cat and MouseGASHER Journal (Spring 2021)

When the job you worked your ass off for is given to an older white man with a soul patch, you ask your husband to fuck you with the lights onFree State Review 13

piecemealJuked, November 2020

GoSixth Finch (Spring 2020)

company,” “tenure,” and “slow burnThe Rumpus (Fall 2018)

Twenty-SomethingDIALOGIST 4.4

“All-Containered” Carve Magazine (Winter 2018)

“Paperweight” Public Pool (Spring 2017)

Back to My PlaceNew Delta Review 6.2

“The Boys” Prick of the Spindle 10

“Grandad” The Dr. T. J. Eckleburg Review (Spring 2018)

 “Close, But No CigarMaudlin House (March 2016)

Reviews

Pookie Goes Grenading at Ore Dock Brewing Co.The Mining Journal (May 2019)

A Record of Violence: Kristin Chang’s Past Lives, Future BodiesTarpaulin Sky (March 2019)

Bug is a brilliant production that raises many questionsThe Mining Journal (July 2018)

Streetcar a must-see at Ore DockThe Mining Journal (July 2017)

A Microreview of Nicole Walker’s Micrograms3:AM Magazine (May 2017)

Interviews with Me

‘Creating subversive work empowers me’: A Conversation with Brenna Womer & a Folio of Poetry” curated by Kristina Marie Darling for Tupelo Quarterly 20

On Textual Difficulty—Poet Spotlight: Brenna Womer” by Kristina Marie Darling for The Best American Poetry Blog (February 2019)

Q&A with Poetry Contributor Brenna Womer” by Stacy Pendergrast for Carve Magazine (January 2018)

Very Serious Questions with Brenna Womer” for New Delta Review (August 2016)

An Interview with Brenna Womer” by Hayden Takahashi for Sierra Nevada Review (May 2016)

Contributor Spotlight: Brenna Womer” for Midwestern Gothic (Fall 2015)

Interviews with Others

Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Ashley Wilson Fellers SmokeLong Quarterly (June 2020)

Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Carolyn OliverSmokeLong Quarterly (December 2019)

Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Fatima AlharthiSmokeLong Quarterly (March 2019)

­”Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Megan PillowSmokeLong Quarterly (September 2018)

Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Meredith AllingSmokeLong Quarterly (March 2016)

Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Jeff BakkensenSmokeLong Quarterly (September 2015)

Smoke & Mirrors: An Interview with Ann HilleslandSmokeLong Quarterly (April 2015)

Press

Voice, Body, Form, Line: Brenna Womer’s Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance” by Shane Stricker for Grist Online (December 2018)

‘Spare This Body, Set Fire to Another’: Speech & Silence in Work by Kaveh Akbar, Brenna Womer, and Henk Rossouw” by Kristina Marie Darling for Kenyon Review Online (November 2018)

Film Adaptations

Short Film, “Male Doctors & My Anatomy,” produced/directed by Anna Ragland in association with Columbia College Chicago (2020)


About

Photo by Riley Fields

Brenna Womer (she/her) is an experimental prose writer and poet. She is the Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at W&L University in Virginia and the acting Editor-in-Chief of Shenandoah as well as a Contributing Editor for Story Magazine. She is the author of the full-length, mixed-genre collection honeypot (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019) and the chapbooks Atypical Cells of Undetermined Significance (C&R Press, 2018) and cost of living (Finishing Line Press, 2022). Her work has appeared in North American Review, Indiana Review, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Pinch, DIAGRAM, and elsewhere, and she’s a Contributing Editor for Story Magazine.

Brenna was the Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University for the 2020/21 academic year and served as the Faculty Advisor for New Delta Review and the Delta Mouth Literary Festival. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Northern Michigan University as well as an MA in Creative Writing and a BA in English Literature from Missouri State University. At NMU, she was an Associate Editor of Passages North and served as an Assistant Editor of Moon City Review and Intern for Moon City Press at Missouri State. She is queer- and female-identifying writer of Indigenous Mexican and Hispanic heritages. She was raised on Air Force bases in the US and abroad and currently resides in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia with her husband and rescue pit bull.

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