Alive at the End of the World

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Product Details
$16.95  $15.76
Coffee House Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.2 X 0.4 inches | 0.3 pounds

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About the Author

Saeed Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and GQ, and he has been featured on public radio programs including NPR's Fresh Air, Pop Culture Happy Hour, It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders, and All Things Considered. He lives in Columbus, Ohio, with his dog, Caesar, and tweets @TheFerocity.


Praise for Alive at the End of the World

"The potent latest from Jones excoriates an American present that refuses to learn from its past or correct for a possibly disastrous future. A kaleidoscope of grief and anger mixes with the poet's wit, giving these timely poems a striking directness. . . . Balancing elegy with gallows humor, this penetrating collection shows Jones at his poetic best." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Jones unravels and reconfigures language like he's untying a knot, then rethreads the strands in a delicate new construction. . . . Jones writes in the space between wreckage and resilience. He offers a calibrated reckoning with his own grief, cradled in ambiguity--and we wait, holding our breath, to see what is tendered next." --Erin Overbey, The New Yorker

"A serious argument for community and the rebellion of joy. I love ["Alive at the End of the World"] for how it shows us the importance of defending our right to pleasure." --United States Poet Laureate Ada Limón, NPR's The Slowdown

"Swims in the ocean of personal and collective grief brought on by many small and large apocalypses. [Jones's] glimmering words bring wit and ferocity to the page." --Sarah Neilson, Shondaland

"A vital and commanding sophomore poetry collection from one of America's most engaging poets. Essential reading." --Danny Caine, Raven Book Store

Praise for How We Fight for Our Lives:

Winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction
Winner of the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Memoir/Biography
Winner of the 2020 Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award
Winner of the 2020 Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction

One of the best books of the year as selected by the New York Times; the Washington Post; NPR; Time; the New Yorker; NBC's Today Show; O, The Oprah Magazine; Entertainment Weekly; Harper's Bazaar; Elle; Marie Claire; BuzzFeed; Goodreads; and many more.

"[A] devastating memoir....Jones is fascinated by power (who has it, how and why we deploy it), but he seems equally interested in tenderness and frailty. We wound and save one another, we try our best, we leave too much unsaid....A moving, bracingly honest memoir that reads like fevered poetry."--Benoit Denizet-Lewis, The New York Times

A raw and eloquent once explicitly raunchy, mean, nuanced, loving and melancholy. It's sometimes hard to read and harder to put down. --Maureen Corrigan, NPR

"Urgent, immediate, matter of fact....The prose in Saeed Jones's memoir How We Fight for Our Lives shines with a poet's desire to give intellections the force of sense impressions." --Katy Waldman, The New Yorker

A luminous, clear-eyed excavation of how we learn to define ourselves....a radiant memoir that meditates on the many ways we belong to each other and the many ways we are released. --Ada Limón, San Francisco Chronicle

An outstanding memoir that somehow manages a perfect balance between love and violence, hope and hostility, transformation and resentment.....More importantly, it's a narrative that cements Jones as a new literary star -- and a book that will give many an injection of hope. --Gabino Iglesias, NPR

Jones' explosive and poetic memoir traces his coming-of-age as a black, queer, and Southern man in vignettes that heartbreakingly and rigorously explore the beauty of love, the weight of trauma, and the power of resilience. --Entertainment Weekly

There are moments of devastating ugliness and moments of ecstatic joy...infused with an emotional energy that only authenticity can provide. --Michael Kleber-Diggs, Star Tribune

"[This] memoir marks the emergence of a major literary voice...written with masterful control of both style and material." --Kirkus, starred review

"Powerful...Jones is a remarkable, unflinching storyteller, and his book is a rewarding page-turner." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

How We Fight for Our Lives is a primer in how to keep kicking, in how to stay afloat...Thank god we get to be part of that world with Saeed Jones' writing in it. --D. Gilson, Lambda Literary

Jones' evocative prose has a layered effect, immersing readers in his state of mind, where gorgeous turns of phrase create some distance from his more painful memories....There is enough turmoil and poetry and determination in it to fill whole bookshelves. --The AV Club

Praise for Prelude to Bruise:

Winner of the 2015 Stonewall Book Award-Barbara Gittings Literature Award
Winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry
Finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry
Finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry
Finalist for the 2015 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry
NPR's Best Books of 2014
Time Out New York Best Books of 2014
Book Riot, 2014's Must-Read Books from Indie Presses
Split This Rock Recommended Poetry Books of 2014
Vol. 1 Brooklyn, A Year of Favorites, Jason Diamond
Greenlight Bookstore, Holiday Picks

"Saeed's Prelude to Bruise is a rigorous collection that challenges political, sexual and familial norms and bristles with pain. . . . No matter the subject, Jones's writing is silky smooth." --Elizabeth Lund, Washington Post

"This is indeed a book seamed in smoke; it is a dance that invites you to admire the supple twist of its narrative spine; it is hard and glaring and brilliant as the anthracite that opens the collection: 'a voice mistook for stone, / jagged black fist.'" --Amal El-Mohtar, NPR

"The features that distinguish his poems from prose--brevity, symbolism, implication--let him investigate the almost unsayable." --Stephanie Burt, Los Angeles Times

"The way these poems address violence, life in the south, race, sexuality and relationships makes for an engrossing read best consumed in as few sittings as possible." --Nolan Feeney, Time

"In his debut collection, Jones has crafted a fever dream, something akin to magic. . . . Solid from start to finish, possessing amazing energy and focus, a bold new voice in poetry has announced itself." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A powerful collection....with a high level of craft, emotion and metaphor." --Brook Stephenson, Ebony

"This powerful collection feels at times like a blow to the throat, but when we recover, the air is sweeter for having been absent." --Erica Wright, Guernica

"A work of insight and great beauty, Jones' first poetry collection manages to be both ferocious and subtle." --Margaret Eby, Brooklyn Magazine

"These poems are tightly constructed, scary-beautiful, and lyrically brilliant, driven by a raw and devastating emotional power." --Isaac Fitzgerald, The Millions

"The poems in Prelude to Bruise enflame, with all flame's consequences of wounding and illumination. . . . It's a story of the forces of destruction--the destruction of black bodies and black selves--built into America, and it surfaces in lines of lust, violence, possession, and power." --Kate Schapira, Rain Taxi