image of the book cover of Invisible Lives

Invisible Lives


Cristalle Smith

$56.99 HC / $26.99 PB (T)

114 pages

6 x 9 inches

Hardback: 978-1-77385-513-4

Paperback: 978-1-77385-514-1

Epub: 978-1-77385-516-5

Library PDF: 978-1-77385-515-8

July 2024

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My ex-husband tried to choke me to death while I was sleeping. I was twenty-three years old. I survived.

Invisible Lives chronicles cycles of dysfunction and domestic violence. Using experimental hybrid poetry, Cristalle Smith breaks generational silence in lyric resonance, reflecting on a childhood rife with upheaval and poverty, the invisibility of single motherhood, and the silence of domestic violence. These poems sing memory across divides of time and space, breaking the patterns of absence and denial and challenging what is kept unseen.

Associative leaps chronicle the daughter of a family always on the move. Family secrets thaw in spring mud. Invisible Lives delivers poetic meditations collaged with pop culture and impossibly colliding landscapes. The prairies of Alberta collapse into the sinkholes of northern Florida in a cacophony of lyric layering.

Smith’s fierce and electric voice breaks taboos and challenges the status quo. She sings poor and working class lives, young lives, the lives of mothers, grandmothers, and daughters, the lives of veterans, lives that have endured layers of intersecting trauma and violence. Invisible Lives is an interrogation of power and intimacy that gives a new voice to the people who survive.

About the Author

Cristalle Smith has been published in ARC Poetry, CV2, subTerrain, and more. She won the Lush Triumphant Award for Creative Nonfiction in 2020 and has a chapbook with Frog Hollow Press. She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her son. Invisible Lives is her debut poetry collection.