DescriptionIn this debut collection by African American poet Xandria Phillips, HULL explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.
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About the AuthorXandria Phillips is a poet and visual artist from rural Ohio. They are the author of Reasons For Smoking, which won the 2016 Seattle Review chapbook contest judged by Claudia Rankine. Their poem "For a Burial Free of Sharks" won the 2016 Gigantic Sequins poetry contest judged by Lucas De Lima. Xandria is the poetry editor at Honeysuckle Press, and a teaching artist for Winter Tangerine's NYC workshops. Their work is featured or forthcoming from Virginia Quarterly Review, Black Warrior Review, Crazyhorse, West Branch, and elsewhere.
"In the tradition of Natasha Trethewey and Danez Smith, Phillips sees a through line from slavery to racism past and present. HULL is their bold indictment of prejudice."--Rebecca Foster, Foreword
"This complex and historically layered collection takes some work on the part of white cis readers; but it's just the work we should be doing."--Karla Strand, Ms. Magazine"In this debut collection, Phillips's poems breathe a story as long as time, in which history holds to its pattern of the same crimes committed again and again against the Black body..."--Laura Eve Engel, Poets.org
"'Let's deflate something that we can all agree is / monstrous, and take its air inside us, '" writes Xandria Phillips in 'Elegy for the Living and Breathing.' A decolonization of space and self is made physical in this stunning, textured, and ambitious collection of poems. This work positions snapshots of contemporary black, queer selfhood against an embodied historical backdrop in order to trace the tolls and infringements of white dominant structures and embedded historical violence upon the body. When I read it, I am reminded of the ways in which language can be repurposed as an amplification device against narratives that seek to erase, bury, and diminish. The poems in Reasons for Smoking articulate how living, touching, noticing, speaking, and remembering are necessary and subversive acts."--CLAUDIA RANKINE
"With its queerness and excavation of history, Xandria Phillips' HULL lives somewhere between Danez Smith's Don't Call Us Dead and Rachel McKibbens's Blud; the result is bodily, razor-sharp, and wholly unforgettable. I didn't know how badly I needed these poems until they were unfurling in my hands, devastating and brilliant." --CARMEN MARIA MACHADO
"From the first poem, in HULL, I was immediately hooked. At least three ways to read it: vertically both top to bottom and bottom to top, horizontally, and each one better. This much excitement and promise comes just from experiencing this single poem that is a collection of poetry all by itself. I can't imagine that Xandria has left anything to chance. Everything planned--brilliantly executed. Everything precise. Xandria Phillips is no ordinary architect." --THYLIAS MOSS