Last Friday at Peach, we featured local poet Eve Williams’s poem, “My father looks like Emmett Till.” Williams self-publishes recordings of her spoken word poems to her Facebook page, Unfiltered, and has garnered national attention for her clever and devastating style. In “My father looks like Emmett Till,” Williams explore a terrifying reality in which no person of color is safe in our world. She writes, “And it must be nice/ for all those to whom things is simple/ A tree is just a tree/ A rope is a rope”—a reminder, for those who have it, to reconcile the gravity of their privilege, to know that feeling grateful for one’s privilege isn’t good enough. Catch a performance by Eve Williams alongside local poets Dan McKeon and Olivea Wiggins and visiting poets Jamie Mortara and Jakob Maier this Saturday at an EPISODE at Georgette on Elmwood.
Sons of Achilles
YesYes Books / 2018 / Poetry Collection
Seeing Nabila Lovelace read from her debut collection, Sons of Achilles, was one of my highlights from AWP/Whale Prom 2018. Nabila has the kind of presence that commands the attention of any crowd. As she read, we hung on every word, and afterward I found her and had to have a copy of this book. Son of Achilles is Lovelace’s debut collection and is teeming with stories of love, relationships, and the cycle of violence and trauma that takes its toll on them. Her poem, “When Your Vice Is a Man,” relates her relationship with her father to her romantic relationships; of taking her father’s and then her future husband’s name, she writes, “my last name is leash-like. Now I complicate: I wanted / the boy to leash me. A bitch & here.” In “Citizenship,” a poem in which she explores the conflicted feelings she has toward America as a first-generation American raised by immigrants in the South, Lovelace writes, “I am afraid/ of what I mean by loyalty./ A down ass bitch/ I’d ride to the grave for love/ but what of where I made country / of the place I live my possible death plot?” Lovelace’s knack for tackling complicated issues through rhythmic and stylish prose make this collection unforgettable.
“Peach Picks” is a column of literary news and recommendations written by the editors of Peach Mag, an online literary magazine based in Buffalo, New York. For inquiries, contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.