Winner of the Walt Whitman Award, Emily Skajaâ€™s BRUTE (Graywolf Press, 2019) is a stunning collection of poetry that navigates the dark corridors of trauma found at the end of an abusive relationship. â€œEveryone if weâ€™re going to talk about love please we have to talk about violence,â€ writes Skaja in the poem â€œremarkable the litter of birds.â€ She indeed talks about the intersections of both love and violence, evoking a range of emotional experiences ranging from sorrow and loss to rage, guilt, hope, self discovery, and reinvention. These poems reflect the present moment â€” ripe with cell phones, social media, and technologies that shift the way humans interact with each other â€” while maintaining a mythic quality, with the speaker feeling like a character struggling to survive in a surreal fairytale world.
Skaja recommends: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, My Dark Vanessa by Kate Russel, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden, and Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine.
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