Made to Explode: Poems

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Product Details

W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
5.7 X 8.4 X 0.7 inches | 0.57 pounds

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About the Author

Sandra Beasley is the author of three previous poetry collections--including I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize--and one memoir. The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, she lives in Washington, DC.


I know I am reading a Sandra Beasley poem when precision and music are driven by emotive, passionate force...But what I most recommend, and what I am most compelled by in these pages is their engagement with American history. 'Ruth Bader Ginsburg sits in the nineteenth row of my heart, ' writes Beasley in what, in the end, becomes a book of reckoning. Beasley questions the late empire, yes, but perhaps more importantly, more honestly: she questions herself. Which is why, I think, this is a most beautiful book: you will find virtuoso music, and necessary clarity.--Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic
Made to Explode makes no attempt whatsoever to fight shy of dazzling and rafter-rattling detonation. Here the poet, known for her smooth mastery of craft and lyric, examines a life lived in and around the capital of her fractured and restless country. She aims unerringly at the contradictions of lush, picture-book days in Virginia, and later DC, with its paradoxes, its stern testaments, its stone institutions. In the process, she redefines her own root. There is unwavering insight in these poems. There is tenderness and personal revelation. There is everything we waited for.--Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art
A rare and vibrant exploration of whiteness and complicity when it comes to America's history and traditions, Made to Explode is a courageous interrogation of self, culture, and how we are made. Both unflinching and tender, Beasley's smart and radiant poems glow with a historian's exactitude and a poet's lyrical heart.--Ada Limón, author of The Carrying