Review: I’d first come across the collection in search of a purchase to better understand a press, and the description really stood out for me. Although I was born in Germany and live in Berlin now, many of my formulative years were spend in the southern U.S. in the states of Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Louisana, and these are some of the places the poet grew up.
“Saeed Jones walks on the periphery of the South, those places on the outskirts of town, in bars after midnight, and on dangerous backroads where most people keep their heads down or look the other way….” How well I understood that description and recall many such places, such dangers!
I wanted to read the author’s impressions of those places and compare them to my own, my collection “CORE” is forthcoming. Sometimes they were agonizingly similar based on being from a minority population and with a sexuality publicly reviled yet privately practiced so that abuse can be common of those who are not allowed to have voices.
Visceral, vivid, yet often using a minimum of words, this was a difficult collection for me to read, as often the images created through the poet’s words triggered my own memories of darkness, abuse, aloneness and pain. I found it outstanding, courageous and to be admired for the ability to share personal emotions and experiences.
Description: “In his debut chapbook of poetry, Saeed Jones walks on the periphery of the South, those places on the outskirts of town, in bars after midnight, and on dangerous backroads where most people keep their heads down or look the other way. Through Texas and Tennessee, Alabama and the riverbeds of the Mississippi, these poems wrap themselves in cloaks of masks and comfort; garments we learn are flammable if we stand too close to flames.”
- ISBN: 978-1-937420-03-1
- Publisher: Sibling Rivalry Press
- Source: Self-purchase
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Saeed Jones, a 2010 Pushcart Prize Nominee, received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in publications like Bloom, Hayden’s Ferry Review, StorySouth, Jubilat, West Branch, Weave, The Collagist, and Linebreak. His blog, “For Southern Boys Who Consider Poetry,” is dedicated to emerging queer poets of color.