W. W. Norton, hardcover
Publication Date: March 22, 2022
Publisher Marketing: An incandescent collection that interrogates the personal and political nature of desire, freedom, and disaster.
In his brilliant, expansive second volume, Whiting Award–winning poet Roger Reeves probes the apocalypses and raptures of humanity—climate change, anti-Black racism, familial and erotic love, ecstasy and loss. The poems in Best Barbarian roam across the literary and social landscape, from Beowulf’s Grendel to the jazz musician Alice Coltrane, from reckoning with immigration at the U.S.–Mexico border to thinking through the fraught beauty of the moon on a summer night after the police have killed a Black man. Drawing on a history of poetry that ranges from the Aeneid to Walt Whitman to Drake, Best Barbarian offers moments of joy and intimacy amid catastrophe.