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No Dictionary of a Living Tongue
Duriel E. Harris




Nightboat
2017 • 114 pp. 7 x 9"
Poetry

$16.95 Paperback, 978-1-937658-64-9



“Insightful, contemplative, and often emotionally wrenching, Harris’s poems reject the idea of blackness as a monolith and reflect its multifariousness.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

No Dictionary of a Living Tongue is formidable in its explorations of art, citizenship, and life as a body amid the social, political, and electronic networks that define us, hold us together, bind us. The poems here take many forms—prose, lyric, epigram, narrative, dialogue fragment, song, musical score, fairy tale, and dictionary entry. An elegant use of sound couples with a keen and roving intelligence and a fierce commitment to social justice to create a unique and powerful collection of poems.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Here is black brilliance doing what it do, relying on nothing but itself to articulate its genius; here is the black experiment of Harris where the poet is the lab, the genius, the rat, the substance, and the boom filling the room at once.”—Danez Smith

“This is a stunning achievement, at once proprioceptive, visceral, destabilizing, and visionary.”—Claudia Rankine

No Dictionary of a Living Tongue is formidable in its exploration of art, citizenship, and life as a body amid the social, political, and electronic networks that define us, hold us together, bind us. The poems here take many forms—prose, lyric, epigram, narrative, dialogue fragment, song, musical score, fairy tale, and dictionary entry. An elegant use of sound couples with a keen and roving intelligence and a fierce commitment to social justice to create a unique and powerful collection of poems.”—Kazim Ali, Judge's Citation

“The power and musicality of Duriel E. Harris’ poetry can strike an audience dumb. The violence in the words reveals real trauma she transforms into a transcendent experience for her readers and listeners.”—Kevin Bersett,
Illinois State University News

“[A]kin to a dictionary made of shadow and glimmer, fluid and flame. This is wondrous, incalculable work from one of contemporary poetry's supreme alchemists.”—Terrance Hayes

From the Book:

Glass and metal.
Sodden grime.

Splintered limbs flung
leaking, as if from a great height
but without feeling
to leaves and damp ground.

To the ditch, the shoulder,
dawdling, they fly. Flung
glittering into the wind turbines,
past the even yellow stitch
to the pasture and the fallow field.

Awards/Recognition:

Winner of the Nightboat Poetry Prize (2015)


Poet, performer, and sound artist, DURIEL E. HARRIS is author of Drag and Amnesiac and coauthor of the poetry video Speleology. Current undertakings include “Blood Labyrinth” and the solo performance project Thingification. Harris is an associate professor of English in the graduate creative writing program at Illinois State University.



Wed, 15 Nov 2017 13:57:42 -0500