Poetry that explores displacement, violence, myth and memory, this discussion features two of the year’s most anticipated new collections.
Dancing between lyric and narrative, Hafizah Geter’s debut collection, Un-American, moves readers through the fraught internal and external landscapes―linguistic, cultural, racial, familial―of those whose lives are shaped and transformed by immigration. The daughter of a Nigerian Muslim woman and a former Southern Baptist Black man, Geter charts the history of a black family of mixed citizenships through poems imbued by migration, racism, queerness, loss, and the heartbreak of trying to feel at home in a country that does not recognize you.
The Malevolent Volume explores the myths and transformations of Black being, on a continuum between the monstrous and the sublime. Subverting celebrated classics of poetry and mythology and examining horrors from contemporary film and cultural fact, National Book Award winner Justin Phillip Reed engages darkness as an aesthetic to conjure the revenant animus that lurks beneath the exploited civilities of marginalized people.