Taneum Bambrick, Paul Hlava Ceballos, and Luther Hughes
Wow, this evening brings three poets of dynamic power and dimension, each with extraordinary new books, full-collection debuts in the case of two of them in having poets Paul Hlava Ceballos, Luther Hughes, and Taneum Bambrick read here this evening.
Seattle-born and raised poet Luther Hughes is one of the debuts, his incandescent first book being A Shiver in the Leaves (BOA Editions).
“Luther Hughes’ debut poetry collection resounds with longing—for love, for tenderness, and most of all for mercy. ‘Hunger declares itself,’ and despite his speaker’s attempts to lose himself, despite becoming, for a time, a space where others can be lost, he finds himself, and in so doing is found. Achingly vulnerable, A Shiver in the Leaves reminds us that ‘It’s never enough to love a thing, / you must do the work, too,’ and we hold some measure of our own salvation in our hands.”— Donika Kelly.
Luther Hughes is founder of Shade Literary Arts, which supports queer qriters of color and is co-host, with Gabrielle Bates and Dojie Tahat, The Poet Salon podcast.
Paul Hlava Ceballos gives quite a preview of his inventive, powerful first full collection, Banana [ ] (University of Pittsburgh Press) in the beautiful book from The 3rd Thing, Banana [ } / We Pilot the Blood, which also includes wok by Quenton Baker, Christina Sharpe, Torkwase Dyson, and Summer J. Hart.
“Three texts exist simultaneously within Banana [ ]: one is curated and is clearly visible, a second has been strategically redacted, and a third the reader puts together in imagining the text whole again. Using this strategy, Ceballos creates a house of mirrors in which the legal, historical, anthropological, and agricultural language of violence employed by the US empire across Central America can be dissected. A master at the enthymeme, this collection’s contributions to inventive forms astounds.” - Natalie Scenters-Zapico, joined in early praise by Christina Sharpe, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Ilya Kaminsky.
In terms of work being published, Taneum Bambrick is the ‘senior hand’ here, as she follows her APR/Honickman First Book Prize-winning collection, Vantage, with her just-released second book, Intimacies, Received (Copper Canyon Press). The largely Northwest setting of Vantage here gives way to much of it being rendered from rural southern Spain, doing so in an astonishing array of voices, forms, perspectives, a sense of ‘story’ held and beheld throughout. There is also revelation, words for life through trauma.
"Set in rural southern Spain, Bambrick’s second book reveals how violence resides beneath intimacy and memory, and what is required to survive and name trauma."—Publishers Weekly
Taneum Bambrick is also the author of an earlier chapbook, Reservoir, chosen by Ocean Vuong for the Yemassee Chapbook Prize.