Publication date: May 2016
88 pages, 5.3" x 7"
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Sure, I’ve been opened the way girls are opened.
Sure, I’ve looked at my sister & seen a woman
We have money for pills for that.
what’s the word for being born of sorrow
For belonging nowhere? Not even
Cameron Awkward-Rich’s debut is a stunning announcement of a voice that demands we move closer as much as it wishes we’d go away. The ornate emotional terrain of these poems is charted with the poet’s sometimes spare, sometimes wild, always skilled lyric. We are invited into a story Awkward-Rich suggests we “know the words” to, but damn if it doesn’t sound better when this poet tells us. As much about stillness as it is about transition, Sympathetic Little Monster is at once analytical, magical, confessional, dismissive, but ultimately, and simply, a collection breaking new ground in Trans, Queer, Black, and American Letters. For many, Awkward-Rich’s poems will burst open the mind, the heart, and even some doors, but when you get in there, just leave him alone.
– Danez Smith
Cameron Awkward-Rich is the author of the chapbook Transit (Button Poetry, 2015). He is a Cave Canem Fellow, on staff at Muzzle Magazine, and currently a doctoral candidate in Modern Thought & Literature at Stanford University. Sympathetic Little Mon- ster was named a finalist for the National Poetry Series.Book design by Diana Arterian.
Cover art by Alexandria Smith, entitled "The Rebirth or HeyGirlHey," 2013. Smith is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including, most recently, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Virginia A. Myers Fellowship at the University of Iowa, A.I.R. Gallery Fellowship, the Fountainhead Residency and the Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship for 2013/14 and 2014/15. Smith lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.