Field Study

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Product Details

$16.00  $14.88
Fsg Originals
Publish Date
5.0 X 7.5 X 0.6 inches | 0.4 pounds

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About the Author

Chet'la Sebree is the director of the Stadler Center for Poetry and Literary Arts at Bucknell University and the author of Mistress, winner of the 2018 New Issues Poetry Prize and nominated for an NAACP Image Award in 2019. She earned an MFA in creative writing, with a focus in poetry, from American University, and has received fellowships from the Delaware Division of the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Yaddo, Vermont Studio Center, and Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies. Her poetry has appeared in the Kenyon Review, Guernica, Pleiades, and elsewhere.


Layered, complex, and infinitely compelling, Chet'la Sebree's Field Study is a daring exploration of the self and our interactions with others--a meditation on desire, race, loss and survival. In this moment of American reckoning, Sebree shows us--intimately and with vulnerability--the truth of our shared history: that 'even when we aren't talking about race we are.' --Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Memorial Drive

Woven from the rough threads of race, legacy, and love, Field Study is a groundbreaking book that vibrates with truth and lyrical beauty. A profound poetic talent, Chet'la Sebree has created a brilliant book that both haunts and heals.--Ada Limón, author of The Carrying, winner of the 2018 National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry

With its steady capture of memory recalled, quotes, moments from real and represented (fictive) life, Chet'la Sebree's Field Study assembles an exquisite, if not propulsive leap into the aftermath of a relationship with a white man--only to land with the grace of a skilled dancer. Elliptically reminiscent of Lily Hoang's Bestiary and Sarah Manguso's Ongoingness, this is not an auto-ethnography by a Black woman, but an immaculate bricolage that both confronts and reckons various channels of knowing and being with the messy, complicated desires of inter- and intra-racial relationships. Here is a woman who does not avoid speaking a violence. Of a wound in healing, Sebree pick[s] until no remnants of a scab exist; in peering deeply into the crevasses of pop culture, critical race studies, and literature, she clears the surface not for restoration, but unhindered transcendence. --Diana Khoi Nguyen, author of Ghost Of, finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Poetry

Chet'la Sebree's Field Study is a long look at those aspects of a self that are often most difficult to look at--chiefly, the woundedness from which we make our loves, and the wounding loves we both flee and mourn. In prose poetry that at crucial moments brilliantly enacts via its syntax the poet's struggle to look away from that which she must record, Sebree has composed an elegy that is, especially in its music, as alive as a celebration. --Shane McCrae, author of The Gilded Auction Block

Chet'la Sebree's Field Study is a luminous, multi-layered treatise on the complexities of race and desire in America. In contemplating the aftermath of an interracial relationship, the work virtuosically entwines memory with history, literature, pop culture, and critical theory. This is a wise, generous work that holds out hope for all kinds of grace, even as it acknowledges the aches and perils of our current polarized moment. Field Study is a stunning new contribution by an important American voice. --Kiki Petrosino, author of White Blood: A Lyric of Virgina