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April 12, 2017
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Weary Kingdom


A Southern-born poet's journey of reflection and pilgrimage to the streets of Harlem

In this new collection of poems, Weary Kingdom, DéLana R. A. Dameron maps a journey across emotional, spiritual, and geographic lines, from the familiarity of the honeysuckle South to a new world, or a new kingdom—Harlem. Her poems traverse the streets of this Black mecca with a careful eye cast toward the intimacies of the exterior. Still, as the poems move throughout the built environment, they navigate matters of death, love, love loss, and family against the backdrop of a city that has yet to become home. Indeed what looms over this weary kingdom is a longing for the certainties of a lover's touch, the summer's sun, and the comforts of a promised land up North. And as the poet longs, so do readers. Ultimately they grow aware of Utopia's fragility.

About the Authors

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, DéLana R. A. Dameron is a writer and an arts and culture administrator living in Brooklyn, New York. Dameron's debut collection, How God Ends Us (University of South Carolina Press), was selected by Elizabeth Alexander for the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. Dameron holds an M.F.A. in poetry from New York University and a B.A. in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She has conducted readings, workshops, and lectures across the United States, Central America, and Europe.


"Narrative and full of song, this book makes me feel at home in its window views, kitchen tables, and human emotions."—O Magazine

"Here is a poet explicitly situating herself in her ecologies even as they flash uncertainly at the brink of their extinctions. In DéLana R. A. Dameron's gorgeously clear-eyed, straightforward, and subtly lyric way, she considers the body a place: 'How can it be time to leave me?' And these crossroads-poems face at least two homewards at once, documenting migration and other species of simultaneity. The prayer (she keenly calls it an admission) swirling underneath it all: 'but—let me love this corner still tomorrow, & after—"—Aracelis Girmay, author of Kingdom Animalia and The Black Maria

"DéLana R. A. Dameron has scored us a space brimmed with memory and light, a song of migration and family that shimmers and burns across the page. Her poems trance subways and kudzu and pepper spray across a Mason Dixon trail of family and loves. Witness these epistles to beetle and moth, to river bend voices blooming in an embattled cityscape that weaves us whole."—Tyehimba Jess, author of Leadbelly and Olio

"In DéLana R. A. Dameron's Weary Kingdom we see the interior work, the human eye focused on the need to find the rays of light that connect and illuminate a path forward. Through her keen use of the lyric as a translation of inherent complexities, each of these poems works to find meaning in the daily and accumulating lives we live. This is about a way of seeing, a way of finding peace in the moment, a reckoning with a history and a present that often collide to make new and striking colors."—Matthew Shenoda, author of Tahrir Suite

9781611178098 : weary-kingdom-dameron-dameron-john-gay
Paperback / softback
112 Pages
$15.99 USD

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