Simulacra

Airea D. Matthews; Foreword by Carl Phillips

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March 28, 2017
104 pages, 6 x 7 1/2
ISBN: 9780300223972
Hardcover

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Winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize

A fresh and rebellious poetic voice, Airea D. Matthews debuts in the acclaimed series that showcases the work of exciting and innovative young American poets. Matthews’s superb collection explores the topic of want and desire with power, insight, and intense emotion. Her poems cross historical boundaries and speak emphatically from a racialized America, where the trajectories of joy and exploitation, striving and thwarting, violence and celebration are constrained by differentials of privilege and contemporary modes of communication. In his foreword, series judge Carl Phillips calls this book “rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant.” This is poetry that breaks new literary ground, inspiring readers to think differently about what poems can and should do in a new media society where imaginations are laid bare and there is no thought too provocative to send out into the world.

Airea D. Matthews was awarded a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Matthews’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2015,American Poet,Four Way Review,The Missouri Review,The Baffler, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Detroit.
 
Carl Phillips is the award-winning author of twelve books of poetry. His most recent work is the poetry collection Reconnaissance. This is his sixth year as judge of the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

“Matthews has earned a place in the accomplished company of Adrienne Rich and Muriel Rukeyser.”—Booklist

“There’s manic, witty energy throughout and delight in the play of form and language.”—Library Journal

“[A] deft, shape-shifting debut . . . Matthews surveys the possible responses to what seems ineluctable, offering a work of intrepid imagination, inquiry, and strength.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Matthews’s writing is bold, innovative and complex.”—Washington Post

“Matthews is virtuosic, frantic, and darkly, very darkly, funny.”—Dan Chiasson, New Yorker

“There’s manic, witty energy throughout and delight in the play of form and language.”—Library Journal

“[A] deft, shape-shifting debut . . . Matthews surveys the possible responses to what seems ineluctable, offering a work of intrepid imagination, inquiry, and strength.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Simulacra . . . demonstrates how traditional text-based poetry is evolving and adapting to modern molds.”—Pacific Standard

Winner of a 2016 Rona Jaffee Foundation Writer's Award.
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