Bluest Nude: Poems


Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.4 X 0.5 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Ama Codjoe is the author of Bluest Nude. She is also the author of Blood of the Air, winner of the Drinking Gourd Chapbook Poetry Prize. Her honors include a 2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers' Award, a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship, and a Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship. Codjoe's work has twice appeared in The Best American Poetry. She lives in New York City.


Praise for Bluest Nude"In this frequently gripping debut, Codjoe offers precisely crafted poems dealing with desire, memory, art, and ancestry."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Fiercely intelligent and both emotionally and formally rich."--Library Journal
"The hotly burning poems in Codjoe's debut collection collapse themes of color and body into a lyrical supernova."--Booklist, starred review
"Bluest Nude is a heady mix of ekphrastic and archival poems...Codjoe conjures the unmistakable textures of Black Americana."--Layla Benitez-James, Poetry Foundation

"If seeing were easy, we wouldn't need poetry. That's one of the implications of Ama Codjoe's startling debut, Bluest Nude. The poems are portraits--glimpses--of a poet who wants 'to be seen clearly or not at all.'... [Bluest Nude is] steeped brilliantly in the urgency of the contemporary hunger to know what we really are. There's a quiet joy possible, too, in that difficult pursuit."--Jesse Nathan, McSweeney's

"Bluest Nude insists on the personal. Codjoe's 'I' is vibrant and alive, clear in its existence as an individuated lens. Wonderfully, this foregrounding of the first-person does not prohibit a sense of a collective, but rather enforces it."--Los Angeles Review of Books
"Bluest Nude is a portrait of Black female desire and embodied love that will leave you closer to your own core. Codjoe uses a language so emotionally clear and nourishing that I felt physically hungry for it."--The Common

"How beautifully seen, tended, and rendered are our many Black lives under this poet's exquisite gaze. In appetite and loss, rage and praise, what animates these poems is a profound cherishing, an abiding (and yet at every turn surprising) love rushing out from the lush wilderness of Ama Codjoe's rapturous imagination. Bluest Nude is an ecstatic encounter."--Tracy K. Smith"Sensual, sound-driven, and brimming with a necessary truth, the poems in Bluest Nude are pulsating with both grief and beauty. Wrought out of resurrection and reclaiming, these brilliant poems honor the mystery and legacy of the body. Codjoe has written a true triumph of a debut that feels urgent and deeply human."--Ada Limon"It is hard to find words for the fineness of Ama Codjoe's poetry, its unabashed and luminous vibrancy. She unframes old myths about beauty and femininity and care to bring them intimately into the experience of the body where she forges far more supple visions. Her language is so rich and resourceful that, as it enlarges lyric possibilities, it also enlarges human ones. Never have I been so convinced that the desire to know oneself and the desire to be the agent of one's own radical self-making can be audacious and brilliant collaborators."--Mary Szybist"Codjoe's poems made me ache in the best way. These poems call forward our many mothers--in pictures and pages--they create a vibrant salon pulsing with the confidence of a poet's urgent, material response. Exquisitely balanced between premonition and memory, Bluest Nude is a gathering and conjuring of improvisation and reflection, sensuality and joy, call and response."--Ellen Gallagher
Praise for Ama Codjoe"Yes, listen. Listen.
Ama Codjoe's writing is too eloquent not the hear."--Ed Roberson, from the
introduction to Blood of the Air

"At the heart of
Codjoe's poems in her first chapbook, Blood of the Air, is a real
heart, pumping, working the blood of life--good blood, bad blood--out. . . .
Codjoe's poems, her re-framings, are full of care and kindness for the speakers
of the poems, imagined or not, in their reveries, in their vulnerabilities, in
their angers. The quieter poems press your hand with such intention when they
skip--never a surprise CD skip from an accidental scratch; a practiced boxer's
skip."--Adroit Journal

"Codjoe's poetry
offers a brief, powerful intersection where the subjects of her poems
illustrate how some issues recur again and again throughout the human
experience. In times like these, when blood and air are porous elements that we
fear, we see how they are ancient and necessary, too."--Tara Betts

" Codjoe's
extraordinary debut poetry chapbook, Blood of the Air, conveys a
sense of urgency, vulnerability, and Codjoe's mastery of the poetic craft. . .
. Blood of the Air explores narratives of women and women
figures who have lived, lost, resisted, been subject to breaking and other
people's definitions, and who have reclaimed their breaths and freedom."--Nadia