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Poet Camonghne Felix Longlisted for National Book Award

Camonghne Felix’s debut book of poems, Build Yourself a Boat, has been longlisted for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry.

“With Build Yourself a Boat, Camonghne Felix heralds a thrillingly new form of storytelling, as much investigation as it is song, as broken as it is doused in genuine strength. These poems are packed with embodiments—not depictions—of Black female pain, empowerment, memory, and discovery. This is a fantastically tender book, generous in its precision and thoughtful in its experimentation. This debut does not come quietly or shyly—Felix is an applaudable master of language, inventively carving and pulling at words and sounds to assemble the parts of this story. Here is a voice that commands, insists, reiterates, and consumes—a voice that has earned its right to shout freely, with curiosity and aliveness and heart.”
—Morgan Parker, author of Magical Negro

“Camonghne Felix’s debut poetry collection, Build Yourself a Boat, is about the trauma and pain of black womanhood. Felix explores what it means, politically to be a black woman in a world of Trump and personally, exploring the ways heartbreak and other points of pain change a person and their body. Build Yourself a Boat was exactly what I needed to read, and revisit, this season as men decided what women should do with their bodies and as I learned to manage heartbreak.”
—Arriel Vinson, Electric Literature

“Centering on black, female identity, Camonghne Felix's Build Yourself a Boat is an exquisite and thoughtful collection that should be on everyone's TBR.”
Bustle

“Camonghne Felix uses profound language to explore the policing of the Black body, and Build Yourself a Boat bridges the gap between artistry and the world of politics, connecting Black womanhood and Felix’s coming of age in New York City.”
Blavity

“These poems occupy space on the page, but also claim access for a voice.”
—Tara Betts, Newcity
 

  • Build Yourself a Boat

    Build Yourself a Boat redefines the language of collective and individual trauma through lyric and memory.
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