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The Black Maria
by Aracelis Girmay

    Publication Date:
    List Price: $16.00
    Format: Paperback, 120 pages
    Classification: Poetry
    ISBN13: 9781942683025
    Imprint: BOA Editions Ltd.
    Publisher: BOA Editions Ltd.
    Parent Company: BOA Editions Ltd.
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    Book Description:
    Praise for Aracelis Girmay:

    "[Girmay’s] every loss—she calls them estrangements—is a yearning for connection across time and place; her every fragment is a bulwark against ruin." —O, The Oprah Magazine

    Taking its name from the moon’s dark plains, misidentified as seas by early astronomers, the black maria investigates African diasporic histories, the consequences of racism within American culture, and the question of human identity. Central to this project is a desire to recognize the lives of Eritrean refugees who have been made invisible by years of immigration crisis, refugee status, exile, and resulting statelessness. The recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award for Poetry, Girmay’s newest collection elegizes and celebrates life, while wrestling with the humanistic notion of seeing beyond: seeing violence, seeing grace, and seeing each other better.

    "to the sea"

    great storage house, history
    on which we rode, we touched
    the brief 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 not we live,
    to you we bring our carnations
    yellow & pink, how they float
    like bright sentences atop
    your memory’s dark hair

    Aracelis Girmay is the author of three poetry collections, the black maria; Kingdom Animalia, which won the Isabella Gardner Award and was a finalist for the NBCC Award; and Teeth. The recipient of a 2015 Whiting Award, she has received grants and fellowships from the Jerome, Cave Canem, and Watson foundations, as well as Civitella Ranieri and the NEA. She currently teaches at Hampshire College’s School for Interdisciplinary Arts and in Drew University’s low residency MFA program. Originally from Santa Ana, California, she splits her time between New York and Amherst, Massachusetts.


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