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Pre-Order   Ships Sep 12, 2023

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$17.95  $16.69
Sarabande Books
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About the Author

Simon Shieh is a Taiwanese American poet and essayist. He has lived in upstate New York and Beijing, China, where he co-founded Spittoon Literary Magazine, which translates the best new Chinese writing into English. From 2008-2014 he competed as an amateur and professional Muay Thai fighter in China, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand, and the U.S. In 2021 he was named a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow by the Poetry Foundation and in that same year moved to the U.S. with his wife, Charlotte, and their dog, Momo.


"Where does one learn such vivid depictions of mystery and memory? I thought of Frank Stanford's vernacular surrealism, except this surrealism is as restrained as a Rottweiler holding butterflies in its mouth; a steady, steely muzzle holding delicate fluttering colors. The lucid and haunted tone is bound to the specter of the Master shifting between father and trickster, friend and foe. He is part father, part trickster, part shadow, part guide, part foe. The student grapples with the master, the slave grapples with the master; intimately, attentively, and carefully we grapple with the master."
--Terrance Hayes, contest judge

"If you surrender to Simon Shieh's Master, if you let your eyes grow accustomed to its voluptuous and troubling dark, you will be rewarded with a singular reading experience: merciless in its vision and craft, dripping with muscularity and sweat, Shieh's thrilling debut will leave you breathless."
--Ama Codjoe, author of Bluest Nude

"This is one of the best collections I've read in a while. Simon Shieh's voice is at once crisp and singular: his lines are tight, complex, and layered; his language unspools in powerful movements, so controlled and yet full of the devastating grace that precedes a final blow: 'shattering the bone around my left eye/the doctors called it orbital//my mistake: resting my head/on his shoulder--letting him cradle it in his arms.' The beauty in this book is heartbreaking, brutal. Unsparing in its analysis and deconstruction of power, Master is a startling and stunning debut collection."
--Sally Wen Mao, author of The Kingdom of Surfaces