Lyric Essentials: Robin Gow Reads Margarita Cruz

Welcome back to Lyric Essentials! For this edition, we’ve chatted with poet, novelist, and essayist Robin Gow about the work of Margarita Cruz, the origins of poetic inspiration, and how they discovered Cruz’s work. Thank you for tuning in!

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi: What originally drew you into Margarita’s work and how did you discover it? 

Robin Gow: Cruz is an editor at Tolsun Books, the press that published my first book, and I have to say I love everyone’s writing on the Tolsun Team so I first encountered her writing when she joined the team there. I’m also a pretty avid reader of New Delta Review too and I read her poem “Actus Reus.” I’m drawn to her writing because of the ways she weaves emotion and memory alongside a keen attention to sensation and touch.

Robin Gow Reads “Billowing” by Margarita Cruz

AH: What is your favorite part of the poems and why?

RG: Ugh, it’s so hard to have a favorite part. I think though what I appreciate most returning to Cruz’s poems is way the poem’s narratives are kept aloft by rich and intimate details. Especially thinking about “Billowing,” I’m struck by the way the opening moment in the poem dangles over the other scenes to enrich them and then returns at the end in a seamless way.

AH: In these poems, we get these pockets of moments that are reminiscent of cinema. In your own work, have you found inspiration in other art forms? If not, where does your inspiration lie?


RG: Definitely! I think my writing converses with just about all art forms. I mean I write poems about memes and YouTube videos even.

AH: Do you have any exciting plans to share with us? It can be writing, life updates, etc. 

RG: What a delightful question. Two things: I’m indulging myself in writing a trans boy gay cowboy romance and I started a new job recently doing education and outreach for a program that empowers survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence in my area and I’m loving it.

Margarita Cruz is a poet and writer. She received her MFA from Northern Arizona University, and currently is an assistant editor at Tolsun Books and a columnist for Flagstaff Live! Her work can be found in DIAGRAM, New Delta Review, [PANK], and Susquehanna Review.

Find her website here.

Read her poem “Sometimes I Fall Asleep in my Mother’s Garden and Remember Us Picking in Fields” in Pank.

Find her on Twitter here.

Robin Gow is a trans poet and young adult author. They are the author of OUR LADY OF PERPETUAL DEGENERACY (Tolsun Books 2020) and the chapbook HONEYSUCKLE (Finishing Line Press 2019). Their first young adult novel, A MILLION QUIET REVOLUTIONS is forthcoming in 2022 with FSG Books for Youn Readers and their first essay collection, BLUEBLOOD is forthcoming in summer 2021 with The Nasiona Publishing House. Gow’s poetry has recently been published in POETRY, New Delta Review, and Washington Square Review.

Find their poetry collection, Our Lady of Perpetual Degeneracy, here.

Head onto their website here.

Read their poem “rice & rain” in Poetry.

Ashley Hajimirsadeghi is a multimedia artist and writer. She has had work appear, or forthcoming, in Into the Void Magazine, DIALOGIST, Rust + Moth, and The Shore, among others. She currently reads forEX/POST Magazine, is the Associate Managing Editor of Mud Season Review, was a Brooklyn Poets Fellow, and is the co-Editor in Chief of Juven Press. More of her work can be found at


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