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Heed the Hollow: Poems

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Heed the Hollow introduces the work of Malcolm Tariq, whose poems explore the concept of the bottom across blackness, sexuality, and the American South. These lyrics of queer desire meet the voices of enslaved ancestors to reckon with a lineage of trauma that manifests as silence, pain, and haunting memories, but also as want and love. In bops, lyrics, and erasures, Heed Heed the Hollow introduces the work of Malcolm Tariq, whose poems explore the concept of “the bottom” across blackness, sexuality, and the American South. These lyrics of queer desire meet the voices of enslaved ancestors to reckon with a lineage of trauma that manifests as silence, pain, and haunting memories, but also as want and love. In bops, lyrics, and erasures, Heed the Hollow tells of a heritage anchored to the landscape of the coastal South, to seawalls shaped by forced labor, and to the people “marked into the bottom / of history where then now / we find no shadow of life.” From that shadow, the voices in these poems make their own brightness, reclaiming their histories from a language that evolved to exclude them. With an introduction by Chris Abani, Heed the Hollow exults in the spiritual and the physical, in its blackness and eroticism, and in the beauty of touch and music.


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Heed the Hollow introduces the work of Malcolm Tariq, whose poems explore the concept of the bottom across blackness, sexuality, and the American South. These lyrics of queer desire meet the voices of enslaved ancestors to reckon with a lineage of trauma that manifests as silence, pain, and haunting memories, but also as want and love. In bops, lyrics, and erasures, Heed Heed the Hollow introduces the work of Malcolm Tariq, whose poems explore the concept of “the bottom” across blackness, sexuality, and the American South. These lyrics of queer desire meet the voices of enslaved ancestors to reckon with a lineage of trauma that manifests as silence, pain, and haunting memories, but also as want and love. In bops, lyrics, and erasures, Heed the Hollow tells of a heritage anchored to the landscape of the coastal South, to seawalls shaped by forced labor, and to the people “marked into the bottom / of history where then now / we find no shadow of life.” From that shadow, the voices in these poems make their own brightness, reclaiming their histories from a language that evolved to exclude them. With an introduction by Chris Abani, Heed the Hollow exults in the spiritual and the physical, in its blackness and eroticism, and in the beauty of touch and music.

52 review for Heed the Hollow: Poems

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Mixing the erotic and the historical, Tariqs debut considers the intersection of Blackness and bottoming in queer communities; the poems feel a bit disconnected from each other and scattered in focus, but bits of moving experimental writing are found throughout the collection. Mixing the erotic and the historical, Tariq’s debut considers the intersection of Blackness and bottoming in queer communities; the poems feel a bit disconnected from each other and scattered in focus, but bits of moving experimental writing are found throughout the collection.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    3 stars This felt like it should have been two different collections, but there were definitely some high notes, especially regarding the historical details Tariq brings into his poems. I'll be looking out for further work from Tariq in the future.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Phenomenal and lush, a welcomed new voice in poetry with this debut.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kent Winward

    3.5 -- damn Goodreads and their all or none star policy, but I quibble. How do I as a old, straight white male review this book of poetry? By typing it out in the little box on Goodreads. The juxtaposition of black history and being a homosexual bottom was intriguing and an interesting read. My main complaint was that the "bottom" part won out over the history part more often than not. I was left feeling like the conflict between the two was still largely unexplored. The poems were about one or 3.5 -- damn Goodreads and their all or none star policy, but I quibble. How do I as a old, straight white male review this book of poetry? By typing it out in the little box on Goodreads. The juxtaposition of black history and being a homosexual bottom was intriguing and an interesting read. My main complaint was that the "bottom" part won out over the history part more often than not. I was left feeling like the conflict between the two was still largely unexplored. The poems were about one or the other, but not so much about the obvious conflicts with slavery and sexual submission, race and sexual submission, male attitudes and sexual submission, and even in how we use the flesh of other people for our own pleasure. The "Tabby" poem was superb and was the one piece where I felt like things were subtly tied together, but the poem itself while metaphorically brilliant left the sexual side more or less untouched. I guess my rating is more out of disappointment than anything else, there seemed to be so much more conflict that was left unexplored.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    Modern but steeped in history, lyrical but grounded, these poems leave no tabby shell unturned in their exploration of the South and its relationship to blackness and queerness, now and then. Let them take you out to the water's edge, and show you something. Highly recommended!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather

  7. 5 out of 5

    AA

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tony

  9. 4 out of 5

    SabirSultan

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zaynab Shahar

  11. 5 out of 5

    Spencer Hendrixson

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ray

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mohua

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luke Gorham

  15. 5 out of 5

    Prince Bush

  16. 4 out of 5

    Anne Lutomia

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jake Krakovsky

  18. 4 out of 5

    John

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ec Doerr

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kristin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Afra

  23. 5 out of 5

    Josh Perlman

  24. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  25. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

  26. 4 out of 5

    Gregg

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sarah McCauley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kaleah

  30. 4 out of 5

    Otitodilichukwu Greg-Obi

  31. 5 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

  32. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen

  33. 4 out of 5

    HerBrina Shepherd

  34. 4 out of 5

    McPhaul M.

  35. 4 out of 5

    Joumana

  36. 4 out of 5

    Kate McCartney

  37. 4 out of 5

    Constanza

  38. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

  39. 5 out of 5

    Celine Uhl

  40. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  41. 4 out of 5

    Carla Sofia Sofia

  42. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Long

  43. 5 out of 5

    Richard Horsman

  44. 4 out of 5

    Mikeymob

  45. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  46. 4 out of 5

    Jerrod

  47. 4 out of 5

    Allie

  48. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  49. 4 out of 5

    Leila

  50. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  51. 5 out of 5

    Heather Chi

  52. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

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