Pre-Order Ships May 18, 2021
DescriptionA poetic and raw coming-of-age memoir in essays about blackness, masculinity, and addiction Punch Me Up to the Gods introduces a powerful new talent in Brian Broome, whose early years growing up in Ohio as a dark-skinned Black boy harboring crushes on other boys propel forward this gorgeous, aching, and unforgettable debut. Brian's recounting of his experiences--in all their cringe-worthy, hilarious, and heartbreaking glory--reveal a perpetual outsider awkwardly squirming to find his way in. Indiscriminate sex and escalating drug use help to soothe his hurt, young psyche, usually to uproarious and devastating effect. A no-nonsense mother and broken father play crucial roles in our misfit's origin story. But it is Brian's voice in the retelling that shows the true depth of vulnerability for young Black boys that is often quietly near to bursting at the seams. Cleverly framed around Gwendolyn Brooks's poem "We Real Cool," the iconic and loving ode to Black boyhood, Punch Me Up to the Gods is at once playful, poignant, and wholly original. Broome's writing brims with swagger and sensitivity, bringing an exquisite and fresh voice to ongoing cultural conversations about blackness in America.
May 18, 2021
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About the Author
BRIAN BROOME, a poet and screenwriter, is K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh, where he is pursuing an MFA. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University's Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019. He lives in Pittsburgh.
Yona Harvey is an American poet and recipient of the the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her first poetry collection, Hemming the Water. Her second poetry collection, You Don't Have to Go to Mars for Love, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in September 2020. She is among the first black women to write for Marvel Comics since the company's founding in 1939 and the first black woman to write for the Marvel character Storm. She won the inaugural Lucille Clifton Legacy Award in poetry from St. Mary's College of Maryland and teaches in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. She facilitates creative writing workshops, delivers writing-specific speaker topics, and is at work on her first memoir. She currently serves on the editorial board of Poetry Daily.