Presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.
Winners of the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award Emily Skaja and Jennie Xie (Eye Level) celebrate the launch of Skaja's debut collection Brute, published by Graywolf Press.
Skaja’s Brute is a fiery, hypnotic book that confronts the dark questions and menacing silences around gender, sexuality, and violence. Brute arises, brave and furious, from the dissolution of a relationship, showing how such endings necessitate self-discovery and reinvention.
The speaker of these poems is a sorceress, a bride, a warrior, a lover, both object and agent, ricocheting among ways of knowing and being known. Each incarnation squares itself up against ideas of feminine virtue and sin, strength and vulnerability, love and rage as it closes in on a hard-won freedom.