Reading & Signing: Raisa Tolchinsky

Striking and big-hearted, Glass Jaw depicts the grit and glamor of women's boxing based on the poet's time training as a fighter in New York City. Beginning on the ropes, fighting back against the limitations of gender, Raisa Tolchinsky situates us within the dynamic context of the boxing gym, through both a chorus of named women boxers and a single fighter battling for her selfhood. In a Dantean reimagining, we follow the boxer as she descends into the hellish "rings" of an abusive relationship with her coach. In a count-down from 34 to 1, sputtering at times, the fighter gets closer and closer to the heart of her brutal, solitary metamorphosis. Winner of the 2023 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize in Poetry, Glass Jaw explores a quest as spiritual as it is physical through poems that are muscular, musical, ecstatic.


Praise for Glass Jaw:

"Glass Jaw is a potent inquiry into the brutality and beauty of fighting, the "underworld of secret choir" that can be the site of both suffering and salvation. Raisa Tolchinsky's lines arrive with the swiftness and solidness of a punch, leaving devastation and wonder in their wake. An astonishing, unforgettable collection."--Laura van den Berg

"What a stunning debut from an essential new voice! Raisa Tolchinsky writes with the virtuosity of a true fighter, transporting us, via her profound lyrics, to the twilit world of the boxing ring and beneath, to Dantean realms of deep reckoning and transcendent song. Glass Jaw sparkles with rare intensity; let this book light your way through darkness, to the stars."--Kiki Petrosino



Raisa Tolchinsky writes about love, grief, and the wisdom of the body. Currently, she is a student at Harvard Divinity School. Her debut book​​​​​​​ Glass Jaw is forthcoming from Persea Books in 2024. Raisa earned her M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Virginia and her B.A. from Bowdoin College. She is a recipient of the Henfield Prize for Fiction and a 2x Pushcart Prize nominee. She has previously lived in Chicago, Italy, and New York, where she trained as an amateur boxer. She was the 2022-2023 George Bennett Writer-in-Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. She is a partner, daughter, sister, teacher, and a forever student of the vastness.

Event date: 
Sunday, April 28, 2024 - 3:00pm
Event address: 
Water Street Bookstore
125 Water Street
Exeter, NH 03833
Glass Jaw By Raisa Tolchinsky Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780892555796
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Persea - April 2nd, 2024