Douglas Kearney has published seven books, most recently Sho (2021), a National Book Award, Pen American, and Minnesota Book Award finalist. Buck Studies (2016) was the winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry, and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection, and Starts Spinning (2019), a chapbook of poetry. His work is widely anthologized, and he is published widely in magazines and journals. Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he is a McKnight Presidential Fellow. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in St. Paul, MN.
Sho is Douglas Kearney’s genius, vulnerability, and virtuosity on full display. These poems live in the rhythms of negotiation and navigation, at the root of saying.
Sho is Douglas Kearney’s genius, vulnerability, and virtuosity on full display. These poems live in the rhythms of negotiation and navigation, at the root of saying. They elide, slide, exist in fitful comprehension of our world–where the public and private collide: ‘The funk, recall, as most Black Shit once was and is sickness.’ This is work that even on the page, refuses the page with its ‘performative typography.’ Always playful, forever in dialogue, Kearney’s poems come at being from all sides. This book is the crowning achievement of Kearney’s body of work to date.
by Douglas Kearney
Came I was way out as it flies
but an easy green and skies
isn’t it? My cul-de-end is a nice, though
it’s like the knot I keep my knickers in
to hey there stay here. Damn right
I’d rather not not squat some pissy asphalt
plot not. Rather put-em-up where I got
to picket in self-defense? Not no but if so
then where’d I roost my hoodie
among cooing polyphony? A no-go a no-no unless
I’m turned around. Awful’s everywhere I was—
I couldn’t see me there—only pinions.
I’ve eyefuls of my absence everywhere
I’m here I go. Hey there I caw now
and mow and mow and mow.
Copyright © 2021, Douglas Kearney
- Douglas Kearney Website
- A Poem is a Song: On Douglas Kearney’s “Sho” Cleveland Review of Books
- Two Roads: A Review-in-Dialogue of Douglas Kearney’s “Sho” Los Angeles Review of Books
- Feeding the Poetic Demon with Douglas Kearney Columbia Journal review of Sho