torrin a. greathouse


torrin a. greathouse (she/they) is a transgender, cripple-punk, MFA candidate at the University of Minnesota. Her work is published in POETRY, Ploughshares, & The Kenyon Review. They have received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Effing Foundation, Zoeglossia, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. They are the author of two chapbooks, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm (Damaged Goods, 2017) and boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018), and the debut collection Wound from the Mouth of a Wound (Milkweed Editions, 2020). Source

When My Gender is First Named Disorder

Do they mean this as a synonym for disorganization?

Machine with excess parts? If I called the parts of me

I no longer want vestigial this would imply they were

the vestige of a once-boy. Remnant of a never-was.

Or perhaps they mean it as disruption in the neat

arrangement of a system? Misplaced chromosome.

Missing rib. Screw balded as a knuckle. First cell to

metastasize. Our language unable to speak my gender

out of disease. Breasts growing like tumors from a lab

rat’s spleen. Cells in disarray. Gender as etymology of

abrupted skin. As melanoma severed. The scar a creeping

ulcer leaves. My clutter of apoplectic nerves. Spine a chaos

of misplaced bone. Trace vestigial back to its oldest root

& you will find a footprint in the dust. Trace my gender

back to its oldest root & you will find my father’s footprint

on my chest, sinking all the way down to my blood.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Health & Illness

LGBTQ+ Experience

Literary Devices:

Extended Metaphor

a metaphor that extends through several lines or even an entire poem


a recurrence of the same word or phrase two or more times


a comparison between two unlike things using the words “like” or “as”

Transferred Epithet

When an adjective usually used to describe one thing is transferred to another.