A collection of poetry that moves from family history and the heartbreaks of navigating a predominantly white high school into adulthood, exploring the ways the speaker’s experiences echo those of an expansive and intricate history of Black girls and women.
In this beautiful debut from an exciting new poet, Alexa Patrick’s Remedies for Disappearing memorializes Blackness in its quiet and unexpected forms, bringing the peripheral into focus. These poems muddy Black life and death, observe lineage and love stories, and question what “disappearing” teaches about Blackness and bodies.
Remedies for Disappearing is gritty, sharp, and formally inventive, demonstrating Patrick’s imaginative curiosity, lyrical restraint, and confidence in her handling of language. Moments of aphoristic confession are balanced with imagistic precision as the speaker recounts the ways her aunties, sisters, and even herself have disappeared in order to survive.
Patrick’s poetry is haunting and hopeful, striving to provide readers with the tools and context to acknowledge, define, and honor the complexity of Black girl/womanhood. Remedies for Disappearing connects Black girls and women to each other and to their own histories, and insists that they be fully and wholly seen.
“In Alexa Patrick’s stunning Remedies for Disappearing, coming of age, Black girlhood, and family history are rendered with crackling electricity and specificity. These poems sister me fiercely, will sister me forever.”
—Safia Elhilo, author of Girls That Never Die
“These poems—intimate portraits of desire, of passion, of longing—stir the spirit with their vulnerability, and invigorate the senses with their language. This debut shines. Alexa Patrick is a force.”
—Clint Smith, author of Above Ground
“Women and men are stars in this book. The corner is a cosmos, and Patrick’s eye is quick enough to capture the constellary shifts, their drama and folly. Just as the stars come and go with the change in daily light, so do these poems, with the turn of each page, give us a fresh and sobering look at where loving is and is not found.”
—Kyle G. Dargan, author of PANZER HERZ
“In an indelible collection that celebrates the mundane, the marvelous, and the harrowing reality of Blackness, of Black girlhood, Patrick wields the lyric form to create new doorways into houses we thought we knew well. She offers heartbreaking insights to the reader, but requires a great deal too; you can’t engage with these poems without facing the aches you bring with you.”
—Elizabeth Acevedo, author of The Poet X