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Bloodstone Cowboy

Kara Jackson’s Bloodstone Cowboy is a reclamation of her lineage, an affirmation of self, and a declaration of her right to contain multitudes. These poems from the 2019 National Youth Poet Laureate complicate the definition of womanhood, troubling what it means to live in a body and love it. A complex and resilient love permeates Jackson’s writing, from anthems praising her full belly to poems grappling with “sort-of” love for her midwestern hometown.

Drawing on the rich traditions of Lucille Clifton and Sharon Olds, this expansive collection proudly claims the inheritance of her family’s southern roots, while carving out space for Jackson to exist fully without shame. As she writes, “when the day calls I will answer to my name / claim it”
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Reviews
  • “What a wonder, to witness a poet of such talent make their debut into the world.”
    —Fatimah Asghar

    “Kara Jackson is a crucial new voice in poetry... Thrilled for this work, and all that lies beyond.” 
    —Eve L. Ewing

    “Jackson's voice is singular; it is intimate in its warmth and expansive in its imagination. We will be reading Kara Jackson for many years.”
    —José Olivarez

    “Kara Jackson blooms multitudes...Baby girl did not come to play. She came to reign.”
    —Patricia Smith

    “A poet we will be talking about so long as she picks up the pen, this small offering of wonder from our Youth Poet Laureate announced a still budding and major poetic force.”
    —Danez Smith