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Heed the Hollow

Malcolm Tariq
Only the tree will outlive it,
can tell the story as no one does,
will utter passion and mean
possession, will say fire
and mean desire. I want
to unlearn this body, forgive
the spectacle it is. Gallowed
be thy name. I will take it
into antiquity. He’s never had
a black man. I’ve never had myself.
I want to imagine a world in which
I am present.
—from “Nocturne: Without Sanctuary”
Heed the Hollow introduces the work of Malcolm Tariq, whose poems explore the concept of “the bottom” across blackness, sexuality, and the American South. These lyrics of queer desire meet the voices of enslaved ancestors to reckon with a lineage of trauma that manifests as silence, pain, and haunting memories, but also as want and love. In bops, lyrics, and erasures, Heed the Hollow tells of a heritage anchored to the landscape of the coastal South, to seawalls shaped by forced labor, and to the people “marked into the bottom / of history where then now / we find no shadow of life.” From that shadow, the voices in these poems make their own brightness, reclaiming their histories from a language that evolved to exclude them. With an introduction by Chris Abani, Heed the Hollow exults in the spiritual and the physical, in its blackness and eroticism, and in the beauty of touch and music.

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The stirring debut from the winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, selected and intoduced by Chris Abani

About the Author

Malcolm  Tariq
Credit: Karisma Price
Malcolm Tariq is from Savannah, Georgia, and is the author of Heed the Hollow, winner of the Cave Canem prize, and Extended Play, winner of the 2017 Gertrude Press Poetry Chapbook Contest. A graduate of Emory University, Tariq has a PhD in English from the University of Michigan. He lives in New York.
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Upcoming Events

Malcolm Tariq reading at Politics & Prose

Politics & Prose at the Wharf in Washington, DCview map
In conversation with Jamal Rashad. 

Malcolm Tariq reading at Books are Magic

Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, NYview map

Malcolm Tariq reading at Literati Bookstore

Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, MIview map
In conversation with Jonah Mixon-Webster.

Malcolm Tariq reading at Pages Bookshop

Pages Bookshop in Detroit, MIview map
In conversation with Tommye Blount.

Malcolm Tariq reading at 57th St. Books

57th Street Books in Chicago, ILview map


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