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a little bump in the earth
Tyree Daye


Tyree Daye’s a little bump in the earth is an act of invention and remembrance. Through sprawling poems, the town of Youngsville, North Carolina, where Daye’s family has lived for the last 200 years, is reclaimed as the “Ritual House.” Here, “every cousin aunt uncle ghost” is welcome. Daye invokes real and imagined people, the ancestral dead, land, snakes, and chickens, to create a black town on a hill. Including dreams, letters, revised rental agreements, and “a little museum in the herein-&-after,” where collaged images appear beside documents from Daye’s ancestors—census records, marriage licenses, and WWII Draft Registration cards—the collection asks if the past can be a portal to the future, the present a catalyst for the past. a little bump in the earth explores what it means to love someone, someplace, even as it changes, dies right in front of your eyes. Poem by poem, Daye is honoring the people of Youngsville and “bringing back the dead.”


Tyree Daye is a poet from Youngsville, North Carolina. He is the author of two poetry collections, including River Hymns, the 2017 APR/Honickman First Book Prize winner. Daye is a 2017 Ruth Lilly Finalist and Cave Canem fellow. Daye’s work has been published in Prairie SchoonerThe New York Times, and Nashville Review. Daye won the 2019 Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellowship, 2019 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-In-Residence at UC Santa Barbara and is a 2019 Kate Tufts Finalist. Daye most recently was awarded a 2019 Whiting  Award and a 2019 Ragin Rubin Award winner.

[P]   Copper Canyon Press  /  April 02, 2024