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Hull

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This first collection by African American poet Xandria Phillips explores the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement and colonization on the Black queer body in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, grounded in prose poems, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.


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This first collection by African American poet Xandria Phillips explores the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement and colonization on the Black queer body in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, grounded in prose poems, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.

51 review for Hull

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    The nonbinary poet’s collection employs the language of dreams and fraught journeys, laying bare the historical and current threats to black and queer bodies. These free verse poems are rich with alliteration (“the brine of our brutish blood”) and innovative in their layouts. Amid the often melancholy subject matter come cheeky entries, like a sex dream about Michelle Obama. In the tradition of Natasha Trethewey and Danez Smith, Phillips sees a through line from slavery to racism past and The nonbinary poet’s collection employs the language of dreams and fraught journeys, laying bare the historical and current threats to black and queer bodies. These free verse poems are rich with alliteration (“the brine of our brutish blood”) and innovative in their layouts. Amid the often melancholy subject matter come cheeky entries, like a sex dream about Michelle Obama. In the tradition of Natasha Trethewey and Danez Smith, Phillips sees a through line from slavery to racism past and present. Hull is their bold indictment of prejudice. Release date: September 24th. See my full review at Foreword.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Zaynab Shahar

    A friend recommended Hull to me. I went to Women and Children First, pulled Hull off the shelf, sat on a bench and started reading. From the first poem I was not only hooked but deeply intrigued. I wanted to know what would unfold. I bought it, took it home, and read it in the bathtub. There's something that felt necessary about reading this work submerged in water. There were poems that amused me- the image of Xandria doing laundry next to Sara Baartman. There were lines that took my breath A friend recommended Hull to me. I went to Women and Children First, pulled Hull off the shelf, sat on a bench and started reading. From the first poem I was not only hooked but deeply intrigued. I wanted to know what would unfold. I bought it, took it home, and read it in the bathtub. There's something that felt necessary about reading this work submerged in water. There were poems that amused me- the image of Xandria doing laundry next to Sara Baartman. There were lines that took my breath away, completely surreal in their tenor and delivery. There were pages that brought me to complete silent- grateful, contemplative silence. I finished it an hour later and felt as though it warranted another read. I will probably re-read it again and again just to play with the different forms that are presented throughout the book that work in as many ways as the eyes can see fit. Of the poetry books that I've read in 2019, Xandria Phillip's Hull ranks highly on my list of books that captivate and invigorate the collective imagination.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cedric

    Read each of these at least twice as I did and see if this you don't get something new out of that second look-perhaps that seems like too much work, but reading a lot of poetry (and the Bible frankly) has taught me there's reward in it. Such range here-Michelle Obama, exploration of queer idenity, Edmonia Lewis (lost an hour in a deep dive), the horrors of the Middle Passage, Vester Flanagan (another deep dive-didn't know all the details), vibrators... from "Intimate Archives" (this section Read each of these at least twice as I did and see if this you don't get something new out of that second look-perhaps that seems like too much work, but reading a lot of poetry (and the Bible frankly) has taught me there's reward in it. Such range here-Michelle Obama, exploration of queer idenity, Edmonia Lewis (lost an hour in a deep dive), the horrors of the Middle Passage, Vester Flanagan (another deep dive-didn't know all the details), vibrators... from "Intimate Archives" (this section centers on selected examples of black trauma from enslavement to the present; "war on drugs," "monticello," and "Dr. J Marion Sims' Hospital For Women" in succession are the most powerful juxtaposition of poems in the book:) ... Monticello outside our bed, everything was kissing or biting you in the name of disgust, in the name of labor, in the name of flesh  breaking, and babies being born  the man never did smile in his portraits,  but by the pitch of your cries, by the perse abrasions on your throat, Sally, I knew  he had a set of teeth.  ------ Later, on one of Mr. Sims' victims: ANARCHA AND I NEGOTIATE TRAUMA   Anarcha passed me hers by her teeth and I nearly choked in the making of space for her mammoth seed alongside mine. I trusted her with a mouth too full to speak. I trusted her to slide something flora inside of me. The first time I felt another person’s desire it was pressed on my leg and this leg was pinned to the couch. In so wanting to tell this, I pitted my mouth twice. There was meat initially on the peaches that we halved off and fed to each other making sure to miss the mouth enough for the lips and neighboring skin to get sweet and slick. Anarcha had impassioned arguments with me, that brought me to trembling. I never wanted to nutcracker someone’s head with my thighs so badly. She told me the children knocked the latch off her bladder when they came into this world. She told me her body was living, when it was hewn for science, but she wanted to be taken with and by me. Around the pits, I said, I am a poet and a queer and I cannot real-estate a bit more of my tongue to doctors or men. And with this heavy mouth, I spouted these words in whale song. Inaudible. Why don’t you spit those out, she said, so I can hear the yes that’s under all that seed? --------- Highly recommended and not just to people who like poetry; further, if you're timid about verse, at only 58 pages, it's not a heavy lift. You can fully expect this one to make some best of lists by end of year-it is that moving, that deftly crafted, that good.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    I’m very glad I read the book. This collection of poems is almost physical in the reading. The cadences vary wildly and to good effect. The poems speak to this moment and to the human razor sharp edges of living. The author is entirely in the body and in the world and in the mind and spirit. It shows the way all these things work together to make sense of a world that is overflowing with information but not with wisdom.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

  6. 5 out of 5

    Muriel Leung

  7. 5 out of 5

    Keisha Cassel

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Martin

  9. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

  10. 4 out of 5

    Darshita Jain

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kari Burgess

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nick Moran

  14. 4 out of 5

    Fa Se

  15. 5 out of 5

    Delaney Eubanks

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lucy.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kay

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karla Strand

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mary Lu

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dongnaan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anja

  25. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dan

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alyazia

  28. 5 out of 5

    Nadia A

  29. 4 out of 5

    Joumana

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  31. 5 out of 5

    Sofia Valencia

  32. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bisagni

  33. 5 out of 5

    Simeon Berry

  34. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  35. 4 out of 5

    Jo'van O'neal

  36. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  37. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

  38. 4 out of 5

    Carla Sofia Sofia

  39. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Long

  40. 4 out of 5

    AK

  41. 4 out of 5

    Jerrod

  42. 5 out of 5

    Poetry Daily

  43. 4 out of 5

    Allie

  44. 4 out of 5

    Heather Chi

  45. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Starks

  46. 4 out of 5

    Beatrice

  47. 5 out of 5

    Moon

  48. 5 out of 5

    Cail

  49. 4 out of 5

    Julien

  50. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  51. 5 out of 5

    Anna

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