When I read the opening poem in Saeed Jones’ new collection, I was so struck by his insight into our intractable problems that I felt I needed to set the book down and walk it off. I went back to it. I’ll keep coming back to it. Recommended By Keith M., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Pierced by grief and charged with history, this new poetry collection from the award-winning author of Prelude to Bruise and How We Fight for Our Lives confronts our everyday apocalypses.
In haunted poems glinting with laughter, Saeed Jones explores the public and private betrayals of life as we know it. With verve, wit, and elegant craft, Jones strips away American artifice in order to reveal the intimate grief of a mourning son and the collective grief bearing down on all of us.
Drawing from memoir, fiction, and persona, Jones confronts the everyday perils of white supremacy with a finely tuned poetic ear, identifying moments that seem routine even as they open chasms of hurt. Viewing himself as an unreliable narrator, Jones looks outward to understand what's within, bringing forth cultural icons like Little Richard, Paul Mooney, Aretha Franklin and Diahann Carroll to illuminate how long and how perilously we've been living on top of fault lines. As these poems seek ways to love and survive through America's existential threats, Jones ushers his readers toward the realization that the end of the world is already here--and the apocalypse is a state of being.
"Jones unravels and reconfigures language like he's untying a knot, then rethreads the strands in a delicate new construction....Jones writes in the space between wreckage and resilience." — Erin Overbey, The New Yorker
"Swims in the ocean of personal and collective grief brought on by many small and large apocalypses. [Jones's] glimmering words bring wit and ferocity to the page." — Sarah Neilson, Shondaland
"The potent latest from Jones excoriates an American present that refuses to learn from its past or correct for a possibly disastrous future." — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and GQ, and he has been featured on public radio programs including NPR's Fresh Air, Pop Culture Happy Hour, It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders, and All Things Considered. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his dog, Caesar, and tweets @TheFerocity.