“Madness” Poetry Collection | City Lights
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City Lights Books | 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
In this powerful debut collection, sam sax explores and explodes the linkages between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health. These brave, formally dexterous poems examine antiquated diagnoses and procedures from hysteria to lobotomy; offer meditations on risky sex; and take up the poet’s personal and family histories as mental health patients and practitioners. Ultimately, Madness attempts to build a queer lineage out of inherited language and cultural artifacts; these poems trouble the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health. sax’s innovative collection embodies the strange and disjunctive workings of the mind as it grapples to make sense of the world around it.
Sam Sax is a queer Jewish writer and educator. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, The MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Michener Center for Writers. He’s the winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award and his poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Poetry, and other journals.
D. A. Powell is the author of four previous collections of poetry, the trilogy of Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails, and Chronic, winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His last two books have been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He teaches in the English department at University of San Francisco and lives in the Bay Area.