Gmail, Twitter, an article on Coleridge called “Is the Ancient Mariner a Zombie?”, my Game of Thrones fantasy league score tables, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s “Women’s Work” from the Boston Review, Wikipedia page for the singer Rebekah Del Rio, essay on the Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Twitter
At once delicate and sinewy, intoxicating and lacerating, Cannibal delves into bodies and histories—female, black, Caribbean, immigrant—with an uncompromising lyric intelligence. While these poems would constitute essential reading in any era, in 2017 they feel scribed in fire.
Trenchant, dexterous, and intensely lyrical, Journey’s essays anatomize and alchemize their subject matter, piecing the author’s personal experiences, family history, and eclectic—frequently macabre—fascinations into a tender and nuanced investigation of our relationship to the stories we inherit and construct, inhabit and revise, inscribe and transmit.
The urgency: Hard and hilarious and forgiving and gracious and sexy and family is the best and very worst and we hurt each other in the most spectacular ways. Also do the work that lights you up despite those “mentors” that scrape your face away.
Dense and dazzling as carpet pages, the poems in this collection salvage and repurpose ultratraditional formal elements and well-worn subjects to comment on the palimpsestic nature of language, excavating the layers of violence and resistance it registers and illuminating spaces in which the tongue refuses to submit.
By turns beckoning and snarling, the poems in Beast work the membranes dividing self and other, human and animal, waking and dream, life and afterlife. Post is a master of the self-portrait poem, inhabiting a wide range of identities and dramatic situations to trace and retrace tangled routes of power and belonging.
How I felt reading it: Like praying, then forgetting who you are praying to, realizing you are at a party, that it is over and you don’t recognize anyone, but you are still flush with the pleasure and longing, and the prayer catches in your throat, half there.