2021 Golden Poppy Award Winner for Poetry – Chosen by the California Independent Booksellers Alliance
2022 California Book Award Finalist
Politically astute, filled with wisdom and great humanity, this is poetry meant to conjure a healing and provoke a confrontation, an invitation to a journey through Black America.
“Words are not the revolution itself, Eisen-Martin seems to say, and yet this book disturbed me more than any other I read this year. It reminds me that poetry can rewire our thinking–can actually change our minds–by using nothing like the rote language we’re so used to hearing in speech and in prose. It can jolt us out of patterns, back into intelligence.”–The New York Times, “The Best Poetry of 2021″
A rhapsodic follow-up to Tongo Eisen-Martin’s Heaven is All Goodbyes, this collection further explores themes of love and loss, family and faith, refracted through the lens of Black experience. These poems honor intellectual tradition and ancestral knowledge while blazing an entirely new path, recording and replaying the poet’s sensory travels through America, from its packed metropolises to desolate anytowns. Radical, outraged, knowing, wry, and deeply humane, these are poems of survival that soar with a vision of collective liberation.