I Know Your Kind: Poems

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Product Details
$16.00  $14.88
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
5.5 X 0.8 X 8.3 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author
William Brewer is the author of Oxyana, which was awarded a Poetry Society of America National Chapbook Fellowship. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Kenyon Review Online, The Nation, and A Public Space, among others. Brewer is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. He was born and raised in West Virginia.
Praise for I Know Your Kind

"The opioid crisis has plagued poet William Brewer's hometown in West Virginia. His vivid poems tell the story of the opioid epidemic from different voices and depict the sense of bewilderment people find themselves in as addiction creeps into their lives."--PBS NewsHour

"There's these incredibly dreamy, mythic images . . . of people stumbling, of people hoping, of people losing each other. I love this book because it brought us into such empathy and compassion and tenderness towards this suffering."--NPR

"William Brewer [is] America's poet laureate of the opioid crisis. . . .Brewer sums up this new world."--New York Magazine

"William Brewer's exquisite I Know Your Kind is a rare confluence of addiction and surrender in an unsung American landscape. The poems brilliantly attend to the world with surreal lyricism, bitterly truthful narratives, and an ache that's eased by the thing that saves: language. This work quakes and blooms and dares us to try to resist the world's grace."--Ada Limón

"Brewer's collection is a prime example for what can be accomplished when a poetical praxis is used to implement large and tricky-to-wield questions, particularly by moving outward to thoroughly probe an epidemic as it effects a state, a region, a people--as well as the individual. It holds our gazes to the underbelly and shows us that here, too, the imagination thrives and, like all undeniable art, is written in spite of all the things that work to silence it."--Ocean Vuong

"A timely work of uncommon craft and artistry . . . Deeply affecting, the book showcases Brewer's prodigious gifts; he assembles arresting metaphors that won't soon fade from memory."--Guernica

"Rooted in rural Appalachia, electric with insight and music, William Brewer's poems explore the wreckage of addiction. In language that's luminous and surreal, he makes visible the fractured lives of people moving in and out of halfway houses, pain clinics, and gymnasiums 'full of coffins / full of smaller coffins / full of Oxys.' The poems are elegiac, viscerally present, and reveal the interiority of those struggling at the margins of our society. Brewer is an immensely gifted poet. I Know Your Kind is a commanding debut."--Eduardo C. Corral

"Balancing difficult material with refined style, I Know Your Kind gives voice to a submerged perspective and creates a startling experience . . . in a way that statistics, figures, and journalism cannot. . . . his lines have an ability to set and to shift like striated sediments on a cliff face."--Ploughshares

"Pitch-perfect and tightly focused . . . Brewer displays concision alongside journalistic skills, demonstrating how the rise in addiction matches declines in hope."--Steph Burt, American Poets

"I Know Your Kind will take you on an eye-opening and haunting journey into the opioid epidemic ravaging West Virginia--the constantly-chased highs, the crippling lows, the devastating overdoses, and the lives that the American healthcare debate doesn't even come close to considering."--Bustle

"I Know Your Kind may be one of this year's most important books of verse since its brutal music confronts the taboos of addiction while simultaneously offering hope for overcoming them. . . . Brewer captures the horrors of substance abuse, the spiritual rigors of recovery, and ultimately, the fraught relationship between an obliterated landscape and self-obliteration."--Plume

"Brewer begins in I Know Your Kind the work of unraveling assumptions about addiction and about the people of Oceana, [West Virginia]. . . . In voices that are manic and breathless, lucid and gut-wrenching, Brewer reminds us that change can be possible, but might be very hard to come by in a place like this."--The Arkansas International