Photo Courtesy of Arik Lubkin, Photographer
Tyler Mills is the author of the poetry books Hawk Parable (Akron Poetry Prize, University of Akron Press 2019), and Tongue Lyre (Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, Southern Illinois University Press 2013), the chapbook The City Scattered (Snowbound Chapbook Award, Tupelo Press 2022), and co-author with Kendra DeColo of Low Budget Movie (Diode Editions Chapbook Prize, Diode Editions 2021). A poet and essayist, her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The New Republic, The Believer, and Poetry, and her essays in AGNI, Brevity, Copper Nickel, and The Rumpus. She teaches for Sarah Lawrence College’s Writing Institute, edits The Account, and lives in Brooklyn.
Select Poems from Low Budget Movie
Low Budget Movie
Low Budget Movie weaves together the voices of two contemporary poets into a singular persona who sings about vintage guitars, movie props, Dunkin' Donuts, misogyny, the male gaze, low budget movies, and the unexpected glitter caught in the cracks of it all.
Low Budget Movie has all the heart and character of an indie with the glitz, glitter, and feathers of a blockbuster. Through urgent directives and flexible stanzas, Mills and DeColo bankroll the pleasures and dangers of cultural desires for luxury items, for bodies, for possession above all things. Beneath the theater of American life—beyond the shimmer of the Big Screen and the smear of eggshell paint—lies a culture of violence. These poems turn our attention toward it, with sparkling, precise language and an emotional honesty that brings the heart to the throat.”
— Traci Brimhall, author of Come the Slumberless To the Land of Nod & Brynn Saito, author of Power Made Us Swoon & collaborative authors of Bright Power, Dark Peace
“Low Budget Movie asks us what it costs to be a woman on the screen of late-stage capitalism, ‘when a man says you’d look better in something / tight.’ What’s the price we pay for living in a female body? Who gets to write, watch, and record the narrative? Caustic and sharp, these poems demand that we interrogate America’s brutal tendency to turn womanhood into a prop by reclaiming the script. ‘Let’s publish the screen in dollar bills, act crazy, and quit,’ the collection proposes, as it deftly recasts both the movie and the gaze. Cunning and unapologetic, DeColo and Mills’ poems entreat readers ‘to penetrate / and retrieve what they didn’t know / had been lost.’”
— Susannah Nevison, author of Lethal Theater & Molly McCully Brown, author of Places I’ve Taken My Body & collaborative authors of In the Field Between Us
“A full cast of glittering prop mistresses, fortunetellers & donut shop cashiers. Complicated heroines who narrate the lives of women with antic clarity set against the stark reality of everyday misogyny: ‘Must. not. make. eye. contact. with. / the. mail. man. lest. he. think. / I. am. dying. for. a. fuck.’ Sets staged with the mise-en-scène of everyday life: scratch-off lottery tickets, silver-handled refrigerators, the leather pants of an asshole boyfriend in a bad band. DeColo and Mills are two old-school auteurs with a vision and a million-dollar budget to burn. Here’s your ticket. Grab a seat. It’s a double feature.”
— Ryan Teitman, author of Litany for the City & Marcus Wicker, author of Silencer