Blackacre Poems

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 9/6/2016
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press

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* Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry *
* A Publishers Weekly Fall 2016 Top 10 Poetry Selection *
* One of Brooklyn Magazine’s 100 Books to Read in 2016 *

“Blackacre” is a centuries-old legal fiction—a placeholder name for a hypothetical estate. Treacherously lush or alluringly bleak, these poems reframe their subjects as landscape, as legacy—a bereavement, an intimacy, a racial identity, a pubescence, a culpability, a diagnosis. With a surveyor’s keenest tools, Youn marks the boundaries of the given, what we have been allotted: acreage that has been ruthlessly fenced, previously tenanted, ploughed and harvested, enriched and depleted. In the title sequence, the poet gleans a second crop from the field of Milton’s great sonnet on his blindness: a lyric meditation on her barrenness, on her own desire—her own struggle—to conceive a child. What happens when the transformative imagination comes up against the limits of unalterable fact?

Author Biography

Monica Youn is the author of two previous poetry collections, Barter and Ignatz, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. A former lawyer, she teaches at Princeton University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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