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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.

41 review for Heed the Hollow: Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

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

  2. 5 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Anthony Lopez

  5. 5 out of 5

    SabirSultan

  6. 4 out of 5

    Zaynab Shahar

  7. 4 out of 5

    Spencer Hendrixson

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mohua

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luke Gorham

  10. 4 out of 5

    Prince Bush

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anne Lutomia

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

  13. 4 out of 5

    Afra

  14. 4 out of 5

    Josh Perlman

  15. 4 out of 5

    Gregg

  16. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kaleah

  18. 4 out of 5

    Otitodilichukwu Greg-Obi

  19. 5 out of 5

    Never Without a Book

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen

  21. 5 out of 5

    HerBrina Shepherd

  22. 4 out of 5

    McPhaul M.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joumana

  24. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kate McCartney

  26. 4 out of 5

    Constanza

  27. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Celine Uhl

  29. 5 out of 5

    Diana

  30. 5 out of 5

    Carla Sofia Sofia

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Long

  32. 4 out of 5

    Richard Horsman

  33. 4 out of 5

    Mikeymob

  34. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  35. 5 out of 5

    Jerrod

  36. 4 out of 5

    Allie

  37. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

  38. 4 out of 5

    Leila

  39. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  40. 5 out of 5

    Heather Chi

  41. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

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