Publication Date:  August 15, 2016
Paperback, 60 pages
ISBN:  978-1-937968-26-7
Booksellers:  Available from
Small Press Distribution
Kryssa Schemmerling’s
poems have appeared in
Cortland Review
, Arsenic
Lobster Poetry Journal
other publications.  She
received her undergraduate
degree from Boston
University and an MFA
in film from Columbia
University. In addition to
writing poetry, she is an
award-winning filmmaker
and screenwriter who has
taught screenwriting at New
York University and
Montclair State University in
New Jersey. Born and raised
in California, she now lives
in Brooklyn, New York.  
Iris In is her first book.
a child growing up in California, the boundaries between film and real life were truly
blurred, personal history and Hollywood history bound inextricably together.  Small
wonder that the movies became a central part of her life.  

The experience of watching her father watch Truffaut's
Jules & Jim provides a
glimpse into darker mysteries of family and future.  'Before Hollywood' even, from
the earliest moments of film 'the world leaks in/like stray light' just as it does in life,
when we least expect it.  DeMille orders the set of his 1923
Ten Commandments
destroyed and buried in the desert, art imitating life but also a quintessentially
American act of erasing the past to make way for the future.  The movies are a way
of  understanding ourselves and how we came to be.  These poems are another way
to that same end.  

Schemmerling retains her childhood sense of wonder but joins it with an encyclopedic
knowledge of cinema.  The result is verse that catches the reader up in its own world,
as mesmerizing as the images flickering on the screen in a darkened theatre.  You can
almost smell the popcorn.

Praise for Kryssa Schemmerling's Iris In:

"Confronting the lost worlds of moviedom, their perfumed history of glory and
hokum, Kryssa Schemmerling has written a collection of poems that are astutely
visual, haunting and insightful. We meet D.W. Griffith as he 'hunts/locations like
buffalo/from a train window' and ride with the 'California Blonde' who is 'heroine of
her own road/movie. . . .'  In Francois Truffaut’s 'The Story of Adele H.' Victor
Hugo's daughter 'wrapped in winter cape,/ragged, heavy drapes/of matted hair'
fascinates us with her story of longing and obsession.
Iris In is an exciting book,
multi-layered and savvy. It deserves a large and enthusiastic audience."
—Colette Inez, author of
Horseplay and The Luba Poems

"Iris In by filmmaker and poet Kryssa Schemmerling mines pathos and grandeur in
and behind scenes of Chaplin, Truffaut, DeMille and other cinematic legends. She
places her own childhood narratives alongside mythic back lots and forgotten close-
ups — it’s Christmas in Los Angeles where Jesus' birth, the doomed Romanovs,
Hollywood freeways, fairy tales, and photographs fuse in the author’s recollection of
her own youthful confusion.  Even distributing family ashes becomes cinematic:
'My/hands are ghosted/white with him. I sow my father/into his garden….' Memories,
movies, and film history dissolve into each other, creating new tensions as they are
projected frame by frame onto the page. In 'Camera Obscura' she asks the reader to
'Watch/the Pacific Ocean pour/through a pinhole/into a shallow bowl/of sunlight….'
Schemmerling brings lost footage and faded images back to life in this unusual debut
— Lynn McGee, author of
Sober Cooking, Heirloom Bulldog and Bonanza

"Don't expect anything expected from this terrific first collection of poet/filmmaker
Kryssa Schemmerling.  Certainly not the usual biographical poetry:   

'I was Dorothy refracted
from Kansas onto the cusp
of color.'   ('Bio Pic')

'We held our breath
and floated like tiny William Holdens,
face down in the pool
deep end shaded by jacaranda
and gasoline trees, swamped
    with drowned bees.'    ('Children of the Canyon')

To link, without nostalgia, the literal and figurative landscapes of old California,
photography, movies, America, nature, and the personal, demands Schemmerling's
skill with two vocabularies: film and poetry. And what other book offers Robert
Altman’s revisionist Western
McCabe and Mrs. Miller alongside Ward Bond's last
word in
The Maltese Falcon?   IRIS IN:  'an expanding circle of light.' "
— Estha Weiner, author of
In the Weather of the World and
Transfiguration Begins at Home