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Simulacra (Yale Series of Younger Poets #111)

Simulacra (Yale Series of Younger Poets #111)

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Publication Date: March 28th, 2017
Yale University Press
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Winner of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets prize

A fresh and rebellious poetic voice, Airea D. Matthews debuts in the acclaimed series that showcases the work of exciting and innovative young American poets. Matthews’s superb collection explores the topic of want and desire with power, insight, and intense emotion. Her poems cross historical boundaries and speak emphatically from a racialized America, where the trajectories of joy and exploitation, striving and thwarting, violence and celebration are constrained by differentials of privilege and contemporary modes of communication. In his foreword, series judge Carl Phillips calls this book “rollicking, destabilizing, at once intellectually sly and piercing and finally poignant.” This is poetry that breaks new literary ground, inspiring readers to think differently about what poems can and should do in a new media society where imaginations are laid bare and there is no thought too provocative to send out into the world.

About the Author

Airea D. Matthews was awarded a 2016 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award. Matthews’s poems have appeared in Best American Poetry 2015, American Poet, Four Way Review, Missouri Review, The Baffler, and elsewhere. She lives and writes in Detroit. Carl Phillips is the award-winning author of numerous books of poetry. In 2023 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007–2020. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.

Praise for Simulacra (Yale Series of Younger Poets #111)

“Matthews’s writing is bold, innovative and complex.”—Washington Post

“Matthews is virtuosic, frantic, and darkly, very darkly, funny.”—Dan Chiasson, New Yorker

“[A] deft, shape-shifting debut. . . . Matthews surveys the possible responses to what seems ineluctable, offering a work of intrepid imagination, inquiry, and strength.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“There’s manic, witty energy throughout and delight in the play of form and language.”—Library Journal

“Matthews has earned a place in the accomplished company of Adrienne Rich and Muriel Rukeyser.”—Booklist

“Simulacra . . . demonstrates how traditional text-based poetry is evolving and adapting to modern molds.”—Pacific Standard

Winner of a 2016 Rona Jaffee Foundation Writer’s Award