Saturday, April 4, 2015

Featured Book: Mr. West, by Sarah Blake

Mr. West. Sarah Blake. Wesleyan University Press, 2015.
Click Cover for Amazon
Sarah Blake is the founder of the online writing tool Submittrs, an editor at Saturnalia Books, and a recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship. Her poetry has appeared in Boston Review, Drunken Boat, and The Threepenny Review. Mr. West is her first book. Named After Death is her first chapbook, forthcoming from Banango Editions this summer. She lives outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with her husband and son.

Description: Mr. West covers the main events in superstar Kanye West’s life while also following the poet on her year spent researching, writing, and pregnant. The book explores how we are drawn to celebrities—to their portrayal in the media—and how we sometimes find great private meaning in another person’s public story, even across lines of gender and race. This is a daring debut collection and a groundbreaking work.

Blurb: Mr. West transforms the poet’s fascination with the rapper into an amazing group of poems that explores what she knows or can find out about West, alongside her own life. The poems construct West as unmistakably human and larger than life—as much like as unlike the poet. The work is tender without being sentimental, funny without being cruel, and obsessive without being exploitative. It is a study in nuance and it is strangely moving. (Evie Shockley)

Seeing Kanye

Along the Juniata, the gray stones,
gray squares in the grass,

keep the hills from the road, keep them

where they are.

When we pass the stones,

like the Earth’s stitches,

I know we’re about to see a rock face

following a bend in the road,

where the strata bends like sound waves.

It’s clear God is below the Earth, not above—
his head, giant frame for the planet—
and he makes a sound that makes the Earth.

But first I thought of Kanye’s head

singing, singing, singing into that rock.

More Poems by Sarah Blake:

The Awl

Flavor Wire

Click Here to Purchase Mr. West

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