In his recent Los Angeles Review essay "The State of Black Poetry," Mitchell L. H. Douglas writes an extensive review of Aracelis Girmay's Kingdom Animalia, calling it a "masterful collection" with poems that "refuse to be taken for granted." Douglas specifically notes the collection's many references to hands and mouths, indicating that hands represent "power and control," while mouths—more complex—show intimacy. He aptly uses poems "Science" and "On Living" as examples, in which the wind takes us apart "with its blue hands," and the death of a mother means that her "mouth is gone." In Girmay's second collection, which Douglas calls "a cunning consideration of mortality, humanity, and the responsibility of the voice that bears witnesses," Girmay is a "quiet observer, one who appreciates the capture of the moment for others to review independently of her hand." Get the "masterful collection" for yourself.
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