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Gumbo Ya Ya (Paperback)


P&S History > Humanities > Poetry

Imprint: University of Pittsburgh Press
Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Pages: 120
ISBN: 9780822966661
Published: 28th December 2021
Casemate UK Academic



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Winner of the 2020 Cave Canem Poetry Prize

"Some writers write poetry to flex what they can do. Aurielle Marie writes reckoning poems themselves come to work. Gumbo Ya Ya kicks with this lit lit magic, this insistent electricity, pages what sweat ink, bleed it, weep it, drip it. Aurielle Marie will cuss, but an Aurielle Marie poem can curse; that what she has seen, felt, or known, is trans-amplified in the room she gives the poem to do what it’s gonna do. Gumbo Ya Ya is Aurielle Marie’s Dirty-Dirty grimoire drawn from a vernacular trickbag at once up to something and down for whatever. These poems are spell weaving. They are bound to work you." - Douglas Kearney - Final Judge Citation

Winner of the 2020 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Gumbo Ya Ya is a cauldron of multifaceted poems confronting race, binaries, and violence, soaring against the backdrop of a contemporary South. Armed with a poetic dexterity that employs urgent subject matter and sultry lyricism, Aurielle Marie’s debut is as stunning as it is timely. The collection opens with a heartrending indictment of injustice. What follows is a striking reimagination of the world, one where no Black girl dies “by the barrel of the law” or “for loving another Black gxrl.” Part ancestral and familial archival, part ethnography of Black femme resistance, Gumbo Ya Ya catalogues the wide gamut of Black life at its intersections, with cultural commentary and personal narrative. It asks us to chew upon both the rich meat and tough gristle, and in doing so we walk away, washed anew and more than satisfied. Upon both the rich meat and tough gristle, and in doing so we walk awaymore whole than we began and thoroughly satisfied.

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