Poetry. In her second poetry collection SACRIFICIAL METAL, Esther Lee's poems offer a meditation through the lens of dance and human movement about the quiet dignities and alienation of illness, caregiving, and living in a racialized body. Part documentary poetics, part mourning diary, part textual choreography, and part nautical-inspired elegy, the poems in SACRIFICIAL METAL serve as inquiries about how we may become socialized or exiled from a community, along with how movement and dance offer possibilities of interconnectedness with one's own body and a sense of collective identity.
"In SACRIFICIAL METAL, Esther Lee dances with astute curiosity and deep tenderness across the shifting grounds of grief, touch, bearing witness, memory, and our obstinate human instinct for future-planning. With great compassion, Lee's poems remind us that everything human eventually unravels, but her poems remind us too that joy is "like tragedy, it occurs--undeniably, relentlessly--every day." Every breath, every dusk, every dinner, every doctor's visit is at once both "tourniquet and artery"--just one of many gorgeous truths revealed in these pages." --Sean Dorsey, choreographer/dancer, writer and trans-justice activist
"I see SACRIFICIAL METAL as a collection of letters to the self as though the self were a familiar stranger who speaks all the same languages, and happens to also be a scientist interested in the nature of time. This is a correspondence in which the world, and a person's understanding of its many forms of data, is rigorously contemplated and recorded. "Where am I in your body now," asks a poem. It's a beautiful question, one that bears repeating. Esther Lee writes worthy poetry that reveals a keen mind, as well as a spirit that is as intelligent as it is compassionate." --Tarfia Faizullah, author of Seam and Registers of Illuminated Villages
About the Author
Hailing from the American South, Esther Lee lives and writes on a 35' sailboat with her artist husband, Michael, and their cat, Bowie. A Kundiman fellow, she is the author of the chapbook, Blank Missives (Trafficker Press), and her debut poetry collection, SPIT, which received the Elixir Press Poetry Prize and Pushcart Prize nominations. Her second poetry collection, SACRIFICIAL METAL, was selected for the Minds on Fire Book Prize by Conduit Books & Ephemera. Her writing and collaborations with visual artists have appeared in multiple literary magazines and anthologies. You can read more about her mischief at estherlee.io and wayfindersnow.com.