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Weidenfeld & Nicolson
09 October 2019
Poetry; Poetry by individual poets
Selected by Joy Harjo as the winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets 'Taut, ferocious . . . This is a book about survival, and a welcome, confident debut' New York Times Book Review Emily Skaja's debut collection 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.

BRUTE is absolutely sure of its capacity to insist not only on the truth of what it says but on the truth of its right to say it. 'What am I supposed to say: I'm free?' the first poem asks. The rest of the poems emphatically discover new ways to answer. This is a timely winner of the Walt Whitman Award, and an introduction to an unforgettable voice.
By:   Emily Skaja
Imprint:   Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 212mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 18mm
Weight:   140g
ISBN:   9781472155238
ISBN 10:   1472155238
Pages:   96
Publication Date:   09 October 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Emily Skaja was born and raised in rural Illinois. Her first book, BRUTE, won the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American Poets. Emily is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Purdue University and a PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Cincinnati, where she was a Taft Summer Research Fellow and also earned a certificate in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her poems have been published in Best New Poets, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, FIELD, and Gulf Coast, among other journals. She is the Poetry Co-Editor of Southern Indiana Review. She lives in Memphis.

Reviews for Brute

[In Brute], the anguish comes from an emotionally abusive lover and the abrupt end of a relationship. As the speaker excavates her grief and disbelief, she slowly moves from self-condemnation to a fiery insistence that she can overcome her boyfriend's damaging assessments of her worth and reclaim the power she once had . . . The speaker's brutal honesty and emotional transformation offer an engrossing guide for anyone dealing with a devastating loss - The Washington Post Emily Skaja's [Brute] is lyrical, visceral, sharp like a fang, and filled witJh lines that pierce and prod and stay embedded inside your skin - NYLON Brute is an unflinching exploration of gender, violence, and recovery . . . Within the pain of Skaja's poetry is an unrelenting force, a brutish will to survive that bursts forth with every stanza, announcing her resilience - Paris Review Skaja's poems are both primal scream-songs and elegies to the end of a relationship . . . With relentless, driving energy, Skaja's poems seek brutal truths while searching for meaningful transformation - Booklist


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