Natalie J. Graham, an associate professor of African American studies at California State University, Fullerton, and winner of the 2016 Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, has written a collection of poems that voice singular lives carved out of immediate and historical trauma.
Published by the University of Georgia Press, Begin with a Failed Body begins rooted in the landscape of the American South.
While these poems dwell in the body, often meditating on its frailty and desire, they also question the weight that literary, historical and religious icons are expected to bear.
Within the vast scope of this volume, the poems arc from a pig farmer’s funeral to Georges de la Tour’s paintings and Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
“Poems that speak both to the richness and ruin of history and teem with all that is earthy and corporeal,” said Julia Bouwsma of Poetry Northwest, about the poetry collection.