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Product Details
$17.95  $16.69
Nightboat Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.4 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author
Dior J. Stephens is a proud Midwestern pisces poet. He is the author of SCREAMS & lavender, 001, and CANNON!, all with Ghost City Press. Dior holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts and is currently a doctoral candidate in the Philosophy program at the University of Cincinnati. Dior hopes to be a dolphin in his next life. Dior's preferred pronouns are he/they. He tweets at @dolphinneptune and Instagrams at @dolphinphotos.

"Stephens's beguiling book puzzles out the interconnections of seemingly opposing forces as it wrestles with issues of race, language, and legibility in the wake of 2020's twin cataclysms of police violence and COVID-19."--Harriet Books

"I can honestly say he might be one of my favorite poets I've read. With all the brutal honesty of Claudia Rankine and the playfulness of Ross Gay, Stephens's declaration that 'a poet is a poem is a keeper' is my new motto. This one's definitely a keeper."--D.D. Deischer-Eddy, Green Blotter

"Dior J. Stephens' CRUEL/CRUEL is a testament to queer interiority, an ode to the Saturn return, and a celebration of language itself. If you delight in 'FEMBOY NAILS CLAWING UP RAFTERS OF HYPERCRITICALITY, ' or if you've ever wanted to ride in a 'salted/shroom submarine' then this book is your book. Do as the speaker advises in one of these fantastic poems and 'open your windows'--let this book in."--Cyrée Jarelle Johnson

"With glorious music, Dior J. Stephens' CRUEL/CRUEL explores how societal expectations obstruct true connection and intimacy. Stephens, an expert in energetic wordplay, writes so that each poem is also a performance--something to be experienced within the body, a secret to be shared between friends. And I felt myself leaning in, feeling this speaker's plight for love and acceptance, found myself also asking, 'and / don't i croon for you, like / so?'"--Taylor Byas

"CRUEL/CRUEL peels the plastic cover off the good couch and relishes in the lush sonic textures and linguistic dexterity of the lyric. Dior J. Stephens exudes a finesse to language and experimentalism as a site for re-imagination, for 'STILL, there's a hope in the wind that slants pessimism.' Stephens is the 'dolphin in a mask in a mask in plain view, ' inventive, playful, and spiritually cognizant to manifest for Black, queer voices toward radiant futures."--Anthony Cody

"Dior J. Stephens knows the body is a reluctant archive. Stephens tends to traces of the everyday, knotting them into memory to patch a self frayed and fuming under the gaze of white heteropatriarchy. Yet, Stephens tracks how we buckle with pleasure. To read this book is to slink into a plum-black night where we hear 'the ghost rivers of Harlem play / light patches / in your good ear.' Listen."--Divya Victor