'I write hungry sentences,'Natalie Diaz once explained in an interview,'because they want more and more lyricism and imagery to satisfy them.'This debut collection is a fast-paced tour of Mojave life and family narrative: A sister fights for or against a brother on meth, and everyone from Antigone, Houdini, Huitzilopochtli, and Jesus is invoked and invited to hash it out. These darkly humorous poems illuminate far corners of the heart, revealing teeth, tails, and more than a few dreams.I watched a lion eat a man like a piece of fruit, peel tendons from fascialike pith from rind, then lick the sweet meat from its hard core of bones.The man had earned this feast and his own deliciousness by ringing a stickagainst the lion's cage, calling out Here, Kitty Kitty, Meow!With one swipe of a paw much like a catcher's mitt with fangs, the lionpulled the man into the cage, rattling his skeleton against the metal bars.The lion didn't want to do itHe didn't want to eat the man like a piece of fruit and he told the crowdthis: I only wanted some goddamn sleep... Natalie Diaz was born and raised on the Fort Mojave Indian Reservation in Needles, California. After playing professional basketball for four years in Europe and Asia, Diaz returned to the states to complete her MFA at Old Dominion University. She lives in Surprise, Arizona, and is working to preserve the Mojave language.
Winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. From Epicurus to Sam Cooke, the Daily News to Roots, Digest draws from the present and the past to form an intellectual, American identity. In poems that forge their own styles and strategies, we experience dialogues between the written word and other art forms. Within this dialogue we hear Ben Jonson, we meet police K-9s, and we find children negotiating a sense of the world through a father's eyes and through their own.
Winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award'100 Notable Books of the Year,'The New York Times Book Review One Book, One Philadelphia Citywide Reading Program Selection, 2021'By some literary magic—no, it's precision, and honesty—Brown manages to bestow upon even the most public of subjects the most intimate and personal stakes.'—Craig Morgan Teicher, “'I Reject Walls': A 2019 Poetry Preview” for NPR “A relentless dismantling of identity, a difficult jewel of a poem.“—Rita Dove, in her introduction to Jericho Brown's “Dark” (featured in the New York Times Magazine in January 2019) “Winner of a Whiting Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, Brown's hard-won lyricism finds fire (and idyll) in the intersection of politics and love for queer Black men.”—O, The Oprah Magazine Named a Lit Hub “Most Anticipated Book of 2019” One of Buzzfeed's “66 Books Coming in 2019 You'll Want to Keep Your Eyes On” The Rumpus poetry pick for “What to Read When 2019 is Just Around the Corner” One of BookRiot's “50 Must-Read Poetry Collections of 2019” Jericho Brown's daring new book The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown's poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we've become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive. Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown's mastery, and his invention of the duplex—a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues—is testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.
Diane Seuss's poems grow out of the fertile soil of southwest Michigan, bursting any and all stereotypes of the Midwest and turning loose characters worthy of Faulkner in their obsession, their suffering, their dramas of love and sex and death. The first section of this collection pays homage to the poet's roots in a place where the world hands you nothing and promises less, so you are left to invent yourself or disappear. From there these poems both recount and embody repeated acts of defiant self-creation in the face of despair, loss, and shame, and always in the shadow of annihilation.With darkly raucous humor and wrenching pathos, Seuss burrows furiously into liminal places of no dimension -- state lines, lakes'edges, the space'between the m and the e in the word amen.'From what she calls'this place inbetween'come profane prayers in which'the sound of hope and the sound of suffering'are revealed to be'the same music played on the same instrument.'Midway through this book, a man tells the speaker that beauty is that which has not been touched. This collection is a righteous and fierce counterargument: in the world of this imagination, beauty spills from that which has been crushed, torn, and harrowed.'We receive beauty,'Seuss writes,'as a nail receives / the hammer blow.'This is the poetry that comes only after the white dress has been blown open -- the poetry of necessity, where a wild imagination is the only hope.