Book Cover Image of Un-American by Hafizah Augustus Geter

by Hafizah Augustus Geter

    Publication Date: Sep 08, 2020
    List Price: $35.00
    Format: Hardcover, 104 pages
    Classification: Poetry
    ISBN13: 9780819579805
    Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
    Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
    Parent Company: Wesleyan University

    Hardcover Description:
    Poems shimmering with lyricism ask who can inherit a country?

    2021 PEN Open Book Finalist
    2021 NAACP Image Award Finalist, Poetry
    2021 Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, Longlist

    Dancing between lyric and narrative, Hafizah Geter’s debut collection moves readers through the fraught internal and external landscapes—linguistic, cultural, racial, familial—of those whose lives are shaped and transformed by immigration. The daughter of a Nigerian Muslim woman and a former Southern Baptist black man, Geter charts the history of a black family of mixed citizenships through poems imbued by migration, racism, queerness, loss, and the heartbreak of trying to feel at home in a country that does not recognize you. Through her mother’s death and her father’s illnesses, Geter weaves the natural world into the discourse of grief, human interactions, and socio-political discord. This collection thrums with authenticity and heart.


    for Tamir Rice, 2002-2014

    Mr. President,
    After they shot me they tackled my sister.
    The sound of her knees hitting the sidewalk
    made my stomach ache. It was a bad pain.
    Like when you love someone
    and they lie to you. Or that time Mikaela cried
    all through science class and wouldn’t tell anyone why.
    This isn’t even my first letter to you,
    in the first one I told you about my room
    and my favorite basketball team
    and asked you to come visit me in Cleveland
    or send your autograph. In the second one
    I thanked you for your responsible citizenship.
    I hope you are proud of me too.
    Mom said you made being black beautiful again
    but that was before someone killed Trayvon.
    After that came a sadness so big it made everyone
    look the same. It was a long time before we could
    go outside again. Mr. President it took one whole day
    for me to die and even though I’m twelve and not afraid of the dark
    I didn’t know there could be so much of it
    or so many other boys here.