With its queerness and excavation of history, Xandria Phillips’ HULL lives somewhere between Danez Smith's Don't Call Us Dead and Rachel McKibbens's Blud; the result is bodily, razor-sharp, and wholly unforgettable. I didn't know how badly I needed these poems until they were unfurling in my hands, devastating and brilliant.
-- CARMEN MARIA MACHADO
Let’s deflate something that we can all agree is / monstrous, and take its air inside us,’” writes Xandria Phillips in HULL. A decolonization of space and self is made physical in this. stunning, textured, and ambitious collection of poems. This work positions snapshots of contemporary black, queer selfhood against an embodied historical backdrop in order to trace the tolls and infringements of white dominant structures and embedded historical violence upon the body. When I read it, I am reminded of the ways in which language can be repurposed as an amplification device against narratives that seek to erase, bury, and diminish. These poems articulate how living, touching, noticing, speaking, and remembering are necessary and subversive acts.
-- Claudia Rankine
From the first poem, in HULL, I was immediately hooked. At least three ways to read it: vertically both top to bottom and bottom to top, horizontally, and each one better. This much excitement and promise comes just from experiencing this single poem that is a collection of poetry all by itself. I can’t imagine that Xandria has left anything to chance. Everything planned, brilliantly executed. Everything precise. Xandria Phillips is no ordinary architect.
-- THYLIAS MOSS
Phillips’ work often deals with that intimacy and the greater question of being a vulnerable person in the world. Their poems confront the history and the present together in the same room, while discussing the intricacies of being a black queer person in a post-colonial world.
-- Dani Janae, Autostraddle
Hull demonstrates Phillips’ ability to expand the lyric to its breaking point, which makes this book a promising debut.
-- Tyrone Williams, Rain Taxi
Hull is a reminder of our collective endeavor to swim murky waters, shark-ridden seas, just to feel our kin, to kiss our loves, to remember our tongues, to make a life.
-- Deria M, The Bind
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