Monday, February 3, 2020 - 6:30pm
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Beginning with a poem called “Confessional” and ending with a poem titled “Saint Augustine,” I Will Destroy You interrogates the potential of art to be redemptive, to remake and reform. But first the maker of art must claim responsibility for his past, his actions, his propensity to destroy others and himself. “Begin by descending,” Augustine says, and the poems delve into the deepest, most defeating parts of the self: addiction, temptation, infidelity, and repressed memory. These are poems of profound self-scrutiny and lyric intensity, jagged and probing. I Will Destroy You is an honest accounting of all that love must transcend and what we must risk for its truth.

“Nick Flynn’s poems are gritty and emotional, grim and loving, funny and also about death and addiction and grief.”—Lit Hub, Most Anticipated Books of 2019

“I Will Destroy You is not merely a collection of riveting poems of intense intimacy, but a vital body housing that living thing in all of us that ‘knocks on our door at night.’ The reader is drawn—as a you but also (‘breathe for me’) a collusive I—into a kind of virtual reality where they become implicated in secrets and lies, feel the impulse to set fire, let go, jump from windows, fly. To read these poems is to reach in and touch the scar, the feigned wound, put trust in what may, at any moment, show its teeth, bite, transmogrify into dissolution, deception, destruction and, yes, love. Through these daring, quietly redemptive poems, we are reminded, along with the speaker of ‘Life Is Sweet,’ how much it means ‘just to be / heard…alive & still, / you know, moving around / inside this world.’” —Nuar Alsadir 

“Nick Flynn, that charismatic horse thief, is up to it again. Standing this close. Whatever you have or had to lose (to win), he’s already stolen and sold it. And yet you still (and so badly) want to hear from him, have him tell you how we (can) live.”—Olena Kalytiak Davis

“What is there to say when a book is such absolute perfection—beauty, grief, and redemption—that it literally takes all words and air from the mouth?”—Jacqueline Woodson

Nick Flynn is the author of four previous poetry books, including My Feelings and Some Ether, which won the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, and three memoirs, including Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. He teaches at the University of Houston and lives in New York.

I Will Destroy You: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9781644450024
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - September 3rd, 2019