Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 7:00pm

This event will take place on Zoom. Register here.

Francine J. Harris will be in-conversation with Joy Priest.

The poems in Here is the Sweet Hand explore solitude as a way of seeing. In particular, the speakers in francine j. harris's third collection explore the mystique, and myth, of female loneliness as it relates to blackness, aging, landscape and artistic tradition.

The speakers in these poems are often protagonists. Against the backdrop of numerous American cities and towns, and in a time of political uncertainty, they are heroines in their quest to find logic through their own sense of the world.

The poems here are interested in the power of observation. But if there is authority in the individual versus the collective, Here is the Sweet Hand also poses questions about the source of that power, or where it may lead.

As in her acclaimed previous collections, harris's skillful use of imagery and experimentation with the boundaries of language set the stage for unorthodox election commemoration, subway panic, zoomorphism, and linguistic battlefields. From poems in dialogue with the artistry of Toni Morrison and Charles Burnett to poems that wrestle with the moods of Frank Stanford and Ty Dolla $ign, the speakers in this book signal a turn at once inward and opening.

francine j. harris’ third collection, Here is the Sweet Hand, is forthcoming on Farrar, Straus & Giroux in August, 2020. She is the author of play dead, winner of the Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards and finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Originally from Detroit, harris has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Cave Canem, and MacDowell Colony. She is is Associate Professor of English at University of Houston. 

Joy Priest is the author of Horsepower (Pitt Poetry Series, Sept. 2020), winner of the Donald Hall Prize for Poetry. Her poems and essays have appeared in Gulf Coast, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, and Best New Poets 2014, 2016, and 2019. She has developed and taught poetry workshops for juvenile and adult incarcerated women, and has received support from the Hurston/Wright Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Frost Place, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown where she was a 2019-2020 fellow in poetry.  

Here is the Sweet Hand: Poems Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374168841
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 4th, 2020