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Bury It, Sam Sax's urgent, thriving excavation of desire, is lit with imagery and purpose that surprises and jolts at every turn. Exuberant, wild, tightly knotted mesmerisms of discovery inhabit each poem in this seethe of hunger and sacred toll of toil. A vitalizing and necessary book of poems that dig hard and lift luminously. 

- Tyehimba Jess (James Laughlin Award citation)

MADNESS

Madness is a wild, resolute book. An exposed, unbridled energy drives its emotional truths while virtuoso technique undergirds its formal and intellectual authority. This is a fine, otherworldly madness. This is an ardent, vulnerable madness. This is an astounding debut, Sam Sax is an astounding poet.

- Terrance Hayes

“Forgive my bluntness, but…Goddamn, Sam Sax can write some poems. Devastating, comic, inventive, weird, dangerous, smart as hell. I could talk about the diction sometimes glass and sometimes bouquet. Or the syntax jagged here, balletic there. Or the metaphors, good lord. But the bottom line is that when reading poems in A Guide to Undressing Your Monsters, one after the next, I kept saying to myself, probably twisting my face a little bit or squirming in my seat, “Goddamn, Sam Sax can write some poems.” ”

 

-Ross Gay, author of Bringing the Shovel Down

 

 

Sam Sax's poems are ravenous, intimate, and brutal. God is "a man with a dozen bleeding mouths" and "a boy drags his dead dog across the night sky" and "shadows sing." Tongued and loved, a butthole becomes a trumpet, a second mouth. His poems reject the given. His poems seek out new encounters between flesh and world, between language and memory. Bristling with stunning images and formally astute, his poems nurture and bruise.

 

 

- Eduardo C. Corral, author of Slow Lightning 

Sam Sax's sad boy/detective uses the unholy sonnet in ways that would make Jarman marvel and sigh. The entirety of this volume destabilizes our ideas of what it means to write the coming of age novel, what it means to be undetectable. And Sax is forever fighting the fight of a poet who is made aware of his separation from the world by the fact that he is—in sorrow, sex, danger, or celebration—moored to all he sees because his seeing is a searchlight. 

 

—Jericho Brown

 

 

The sad boy / detective of this book is on the case of his biggest mystery yet: the strangeness of existence itself. Reading these cleverly serialized sonnets is like pressing your ear to a door full of wonders you're unsure you're prepared to inherit. The book enacts a powerful awakening. Sam Sax is a terrific emerging poet. Like a sleuth with a magnifying glass, you're going to want to follow him everywhere.

 

—Dobby Gibson

In All the Rage, sam sax turns the poetry of observation into weapon of prayer and resurrection. Here is the eroticism and anger of bearing witness. Here the dead walk again, sometimes right over us, sometimes right through us. Here are open wounds wet with the spit of old lovers and old versions of ourselves, raw, hungry, and unwilling to let us forget what we've seen.

“In sam sax’s STRAIGHT the wound and the salve seem to disguise themselves as one another—as the sweet high, as the lovely low, as the addiction to power and the relief of being nothing. sax stripped me to my cells, to my neurological need to be seen and the fear that I am. Bare and bright, these forms resist formulas, these pauses are syntax and synapse, these griefs are the new mouths that sing the snake back in. These poems are the prescription for the animal in us, and for what’s in us that is unshaken by chemistry—for the god in us, or what god put there by wafer, by word, by flesh, by chemical flame.”

Traci Brimhall