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bury it
sam sax



Wesleyan Poetry Series

Wesleyan
2018 • 88 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Poetry - American

$14.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-7731-3
$11.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7732-0

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.



Winner of the 2017 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets

sam sax’s bury it, winner of the 2017 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets, begins with poems written in response to the spate of highly publicized young gay suicides in the summer of 2010. What follows are raw and expertly crafted meditations on death, rituals of passage, translation, desire, diaspora, and personhood. What’s at stake is survival itself and the archiving of a lived and lyric history. Laughlin Award judge Tyehimba Jess says “bury it is lit with imagery and purpose that surprises and jolts at every turn. Exuberant, wild, tightly knotted mesmerisms of discovery inhabit each poem in this seethe of hunger and sacred toll of toil. A vitalizing and necessary book of poems that dig hard and lift luminously.” In this phenomenal second collection of poems, Sam Sax invites the reader to join him in his interrogation of the bridges we cross, the bridges we burn, and bridges we must leap from.

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Reviews / Endorsements



“bury it, sam sax’s urgent, thriving excavation of desire, is lit with imagery and purpose that surprises and jolts at every turn. Exuberant, wild, tightly knotted mesmerisms of discovery inhabit each poem in this seethe of hunger and sacred toll of toil. A vitalizing and necessary book of poems that dig hard and lift luminously.”—2017 James Laughlin Award citation from Judge Tyehimba Jess

“Reminding us how long, and in what ways, the presumptive rule of heteronormativity has conspired to shame, kill and erase queerness, Sam Sax builds a bridge of sighs to mark the places where boys who love boys have been pushed or driven to jump. Buried inside these turbulent and tragic elegies are the sorrows so often borne in silence by queer or questioning youth. The unearthing and examination of these root causes of untimely death among at-risk kids forms a terrifying necrology, an urgent inquest into the violence perpetrated by a society still harboring hostility toward otherness. What Sax does herein is a holy ceremony, a kaddish that does not mourn but praise.”—D. A. Powell

“sam sax’s poems are stunning variations on desire and death in our post-postmodern era: desire as death, desire for death, the death of desire. Yet even as he buries our many lost to the ravages of AIDS and cancer and suicide, he resurrects them, in deeply moving elegies that reject sentimental praise, in reliving encounters with them that pulse with the erotic, in language that is at once plain and reverential. We are thus immersed here in the mysteriously human, as even the technologies we seek to explicate ourselves and our world are revealed and embraced as themselves ultimately inexplicable. sam sax has created an astonishing poetry that is at once a grim meditation on mortality and yet a hymn to the glory of being alive.”—Rafael Campo, author of Comfort Measures Only



SAM SAX is a queer Jewish writer and educator currently living in Brooklyn. He’s the author of Madness, winner of the National Poetry Series, and the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion.



Tue, 14 Aug 2018 12:45:56 -0500