body of space, body of dark, body of light
Earlier this year, Aracelis Girmay published a deservedly acclaimed third poetry collection, The Black Maria (BOA Editions, 2016), that ranges through the depths of violence and pain, racism and injustice, death and loss and grief, and manages still to come out on the side of redemption. It is both elegiac and celebratory, historical and resonant of the moment we live in.
Below is the trailer for the book. It speaks to the remarkable lyrical poetry in the 120-page collection, providing just one reason why the book received a Whiting Award for poetry.
Girmay's other collections are Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions, 2011) and Teeth (Curbstone Press*, 2007). The former was the recipient of BOA's Isabella Gardner Award and also named a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award.
In addition to poetry, Aracelis Girmay writes fiction and essays. She both wrote and illustrated changing, changing: story and collages (George Braziller, 2005).
"Professor Girmay's New Book Is a National Poetry Month Pick by Oprah.com, NBC News", Hampshire College News, April 28, 2016
"Split This Rock Interview with Aracelis Girmay", Split This Rock Blog, April 2016
"How do you go about finding the heart?", Aracelis Girmay on Poetry, Discovery, and Grief, Interview Series, Poetry and Literature Center, Library of Congress