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The New Yorker: Briefly Noted

Sep 24, 2018

Don’t Let Them See Me Like This, by Jasmine Gibson (Nightboat). This début poetry collection probes the contradictions of desire amid the ravages of capitalism and racism. In verse that ranges widely in reference and in register, Gibson explores the blurry boundaries between body and state, sex and commerce, intimacy and surveillance. The poems are politically defiant and uncompromising—“Heavy Metal” invokes Hurricane Katrina, the Flint water crisis, and the Syrian civil war—but also examine private vulnerabilities. If the poetic voice, veering between the sensual and the conceptual, can seem erratic, this sense of unpredictability compels the reader’s attention. “If it’s hysterical, it’s historical,” Gibson writes. “Tell me when it hurts, I’ll keep going.”

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