By Aracelis Girmay
"[Girmay's] each loss—she calls them estrangements—is a craving for connection throughout time and position; her each fragment is a bulwark opposed to ruin." —O, The Oprah Magazine
"In Aracelis Girmay we've got a poet who collects, polishes, and stocks tales with such marvelous invention, tenderness, and highbrow liveliness that it really is comprehensible that we expect of her because the blessed curator of our collective histories. there's in her artwork the vulnerability of 1 who lives within the tales that she gathers during this striking assortment. Her poems trigger alarms while they remodel the realm she inhabits, exhibiting us, within the procedure, precisely what she asks of Romare Bearden’s artwork: ‘…how to not // assign all blackness close to the ocean / a captivity.’ this can be one of many many candy contradictions in the black maria, which ‘is a black flag / wounding the pastoral.’ i'm deeply grateful that we've got a poet of her distinct and singular expertise writing today." —Kwame Dawes
Taking its identify from the moon's darkish plains, misidentified as seas by means of early astronomers, the black maria investigates African diasporic histories, the results of racism inside of American tradition, and the query of human identification. significant to this venture is a wish to realize the lives of Eritrean refugees who've been made invisible by means of years of immigration obstacle, refugee prestige, exile, and ensuing statelessness. The recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry, Girmay's most up-to-date assortment elegizes and celebrates existence, whereas wrestling with the humanistic concept of seeing past: seeing violence, seeing grace, and seeing one another better.
"to the sea"
great garage condominium, history
on which we rode, we touched
the short pulse of your fluttering
pages, spelled with salt & life,
your rage, your indifference
your gentleness washing our feet,
all of you going on
whether or now not we live,
to you we carry our carnations
yellow & purple, how they float
like shiny sentences atop
your memory's darkish hair
Aracelis Girmay is the writer of 3 poetry collections, the black maria; Kingdom Animalia, which received the Isabella Gardner Award and was once a finalist for the NBCC Award; and Teeth. The recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award, she has obtained gives you and fellowships from the Jerome, Cave Canem, and Watson foundations, in addition to Civitella Ranieri and the NEA. She at the moment teaches at Hampshire College's institution for Interdisciplinary Arts and in Drew University's low residency MFA application. initially from Santa Ana, California, she splits her time among ny and Amherst, Massachusetts.
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