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January 17, 2016
9780819577139
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February 7, 2017
9780819577115
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March 7, 2019
9780819577122
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In the Language of My Captor

Finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Poetry

Winner of the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry (2017)

Acclaimed poet Shane McCrae's latest collection is a book about freedom told through stories of captivity. Historical persona poems and a prose memoir at the center of the book address the illusory freedom of both black and white Americans. In the book's three sequences, McCrae explores the role mass entertainment plays in oppression, he confronts the myth that freedom can be based upon the power to dominate others, and, in poems about the mixed-race child adopted by Jefferson Davis in the last year of the Civil War, he interrogates the infrequently examined connections between racism and love. A reader's companion is available at wesleyan.edu/wespress/readerscompanions.

About the Author

SHANE MCCRAE is the author of four other books of poetry, including The Animal Too Big to Kill, Mule, Forgiveness Forgiveness, and Blood.

Reviews

"His language remains as stark as the perdurable, terrible history it contains — a history that is not over yet."—Stephanie Burt, New York Times Book Review

"[In the Language of My Captor] impl[ies] an audience other than the captor, someone who might hear his description of the captivity—spoken, it seems, in the language of his captivity—and understand."—Jonathan Farmer, Kenyon Review

"McCrae is a flexible, experimental poet investigating the way history lays over (and under) the present moment."—Emily Temple, LitHub

"As I read Shane McCrae's In the Language of My Captor, I thought of the Romanian poet Paul Celan."—Valerie Duff-Strautmann, Salamander

"[In the Language of My Captor] impl[ies] an audience other than the captor, someone who might hear his description of the captivity—spoken, it seems, in the language of his captivity—and understand."—Jonathan Farmer, Kenyon Review

"McCrae continues his confrontations with American racism in his superb fifth collection. With a raw honesty, McCrae refuses to shy away from the effects of oppression and faces up to those not willing to acknowledge their part in a history many want to forget."—Publishers Weekly

"His language remains as stark as the perdurable, terrible history it contains — a history that is not over yet."—Stephanie Burt, New York Times Book Review

"[A]n astonishingly precise account of a complex emotional past."—Ryo Yamaguchi, Boston Review
Wesleyan University Press

9780819577122 : in-the-language-of-my-captor-mccrae
Paperback / softback
108 Pages
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9780819577115 : in-the-language-of-my-captor-mccrae
Hardback
108 Pages
$24.95 USD
9780819577139 : in-the-language-of-my-captor-mccrae
Electronic book text
108 Pages
$11.95 USD

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