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September 27, 2022
6.9 X 8.9 X 0.3 inches | 0.4 pounds
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About the Author
Luther Hughes is the author of the chapbook Touched (Sibling Rivalry Press), recommended by the American Library Association. He is the founder of Shade Literary Arts, a literary organization for queer writers of color, and co-hosts The Poet Salon podcast with Gabrielle Bates and Dujie Tahat. Recipient of the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship and 92Y Discovery Poetry Prize, his writing has been published in American Poetry Review, Paris Review, Seattle Times, Orion Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Hayden's Ferry Review, and more. He curates a monthly poetry newsletter called Lue's Poetry Hour. Luther currently lives in Seattle, where he was born and raised.
"This is a book of hope, of triumph, even as each day that we wake is a triumph over how things might have been otherwise. 'Look at all my colors, ' Hughes says, reminding us that black contains all colors, is in that way its own abundance. That abundance includes the erotic, the familial, relationships variously sought and regretted, relationships with others as much as with ourselves, the self as an ever-restless interior of light and shadow. That abundance includes, as well, the hard-won poems of A Shiver in the Leaves, whose music is finally, beautifully, brutally, Hughes's own."- Carl Phillips, from the Foreword"A Shiver in the Leaves is a wild-ride collection of poems that concerns itself with love, and chiefly, what it means to experience the pleasures of erotic love while aware of one's own Blackness: 'Everything around me is black for its own good.' Luther Hughes is also a poet of the family and of the natural world. And all of these elements come forward in this lovely debut that chronicles desire: 'I want, but I must be careful.'"-- Jericho Brown, author of The Tradition"Luther Hughes' debut poetry collection resounds with longing--for love, for tenderness, and most of all for mercy. 'Hunger declares itself, ' and despite his speaker's attempts to lose himself, despite becoming, for a time, a space where others can be lost, he finds himself, and in so doing is found. Achingly vulnerable, A Shiver in the Leaves reminds us that 'It's never enough to love a thing, / you must do the work, too, ' and we hold some measure of our own salvation in our hands."-- Donika Kelly, author of The Renunciations"Hughes' enthusiasm and gratitude for the poetic line is not only evidenced in his scholarship, but it sings in this debut. Like a song heard from far away, these poems move the way the writer's eye does, scouring the landscape and leaving no stone unturned. We'll be singing to Luther's lyric for a long time."-- Camonghne Felix, author of Build Yourself a Boat"What distinguishes the densities of desire from the densities of pain? In A Shiver in the Leaves, Luther Hughes makes poems that richly blur across dark landscapes of eroticism and charged violence, allowing leakages between territories claimed by unsparing appetites and those claimed by the voracity of grief. Animated by a bruised, febrile lyricism, Hughes' tensile lines plumb the embodied experience of Blackness, queerness, faith, and vexed desire with searing jolts of language and exquisite tenderness. One leaves these poems enlarged, stunned, complexly bereft: 'Come/let's plunge forward...grab hold the darkness we become.'"-- Jenny Xie, author of Eye Level