Here Is the Sweet Hand: Poems


Product Details

$25.00  $23.25
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.3 X 0.7 inches | 0.5 pounds
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About the Author

francine j. harris is the author of play dead, winner of the Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards and a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her first collection, allegiance, was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery and PEN Open Book Awards. Originally from Detroit, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She is an associate professor of English at the University of Houston.


Entering mid-career with her extraordinary third book, harris . . . fully emerges as one of the best and most relevant contemporary poets. She writes with a historical and linguistic reach . . . She is also in league with some of the great practitioners of poetry that makes no distinction between the personal and the political, such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Adrienne Rich. --Craig Morgan Teicher, NPR

harris reveals one of the roles of the contemporary poet: to expose unpleasant truths of the past and present, to call out the aspects of our worst selves . . . harris is an expert practitioner and guide; we are always in her orbit, captivated as she manipulates language, un-doing worn traditions, engaging the reader intimately, and unforgettably. --Mandana Chaffa, Chicago Review of Books

francine j. harris has fashioned a striking new idiom in American poetry . . .Her distinctive line is propelled by its own music--by which I mean harris has created an effect in which the line seems to be assembling itself as it goes, improvising as it overhears the sonic entailments of what's just been written, or said . . . In her poems, ecstasy is always peaking into history, and vice versa; the green world spurts irresistibly up from the gray; and sex and language come curled intimately, boisterously, around each other. --Noah Warren, Kenyon Review

Some of the poems are so full of heat, so pressing, that you'll hold your breath until the last line. --goop

With poems that pant, keen, and rumble, harris offers a fresh and dazzling third collection. The poet's subjects are difficult and necessary . . . These are poems of solitude and full-throated coupling, of nonhuman and extraterrestrial phenomena . . . But no list of topics or themes can capture the erotic heat, imaginative breadth, and syntactical daring of this poet's voice.' --Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

This is a book full of 'heat, ' of being beneath and being above, of desire, neighbors, the news, the horrors of systemic racism played out in a 19th-century orphanage and a shooting on a train -- all presented without the censoring influence of traditional continuity . . . there is no point in questioning Here Is the Sweet Hand. It is better to let her voice be the center and take pleasure in change. --Lynn McGee, Lambda Literary

harris's poems teem with emotion, but there's a control to her lines that feels so clever . . . harris is original in syntax and rhythm: the poems in this collection never play quite the same song, as if their form keeps us active and alert. --Nick Ripatrazone, The Millions

[harris] injects her work with lyrical strength that is poignant and powerful. --Karla Strand, Ms. Magazine