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October 2019 Poetry Book of the Month

The October 2019 Poetry Book of the Month is

semiautomatic by Evie Shockley.  

ABOUT semiautomatic

“Evie Shockley suggests that poetry is necessary to seeing, surviving with equilibrium and wholeness in this period’s vital and precarious junctures. The poems in semiautomatic are on fire. This will make an excellent source book of poetic form and historically grounded black aesthetics for the classroom.” (Erica Hunt, Long Island University)

“Evie Shockley's semiautomatic goes beyond mere weaponry. This book is revelatory. A tool in the chest of cultural workers, a vocabulary that resists decoration; this is self-portraiture and truth-telling at its best. From her epic ‘the topsy suite’ to her one-acts (a new form), through her fearless lens and appropriation of authorities, there's no level of denial or proof-vest that will protect you from Shockley's poetry. You can run, Reader, but you will not be able to look the other way.” (Willie Perdomo, author of The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon)

“This is an extraordinary, wonderful book. Evie Shockley is a great black poet. I know she might not put it that way, and sees all of what’s problematic in my putting it that way. Her greatness is in that, too. She makes revolution irresistible just like she heard we should.” (Fred Moten, author of The Little Edges)

“There is no keener mind in American poetry than Shockley's, with her quick turns and inflections, slipping between subjectivity and documentary, between verse and refrain. Her poems engage—politically, formally, historically, profoundly—with the redistribution of power through language. Read this book and get shook.” (D. A. Powell)

You can read more about Evie Shockley and her work here:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/evie-shockley

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