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“These are arresting, richly corporeal poems about the self as defined by race, family, and sexuality, and forged in rapture.”Booklist

“McCray is at his best when he limns arousal, desire, the body in ecstasy, and the heart in the throes of devotion.”O, The Oprah Magazine

“[McCray] drills deep to get to the truth. . . . He talks without fear. He means what he says. Each line moves up the scale and increases the risk but Sjohnna doesn’t back down. He sweetens the ache of courage with craft. I think he has word power. I believe in him.”―Washington Independent Review of Books

“A stunning glimpse . . . . This is a new kind of primary source in which McCray explores all kinds of origins: parental, familial, personal. . . . McCray refuses to yield in this collection. None of his poems, none of the people in them, are singular. They come together into a collective identity that is Rapture.”Sycamore Review

“These poems are beautifully crafted, courageous in their truth-telling, and full of what I think of as lyrical wisdom–the visceral revelations that only music, gesture, and image, working together, can impart. Not only did they stop me in my tracks, but also they changed me as a person. Sjohnna McCray’s is an ecstatic and original voice, and he lends it to family, history, race, and desire in ways that are healing and enlarging. Rapture announces a prodigious talent and a huge human heart.”―Tracy K. Smith, from her judge’s citation for the Walt Whitman Award

“Sjohnna McCray’s blunt, rapturous poems make me think of Dinah Washington singing, ‘Maybe this world is not so bitter after all.’ Despite the debris of his life, time has made Sjohnna McCray tender, too. I will always remember the sweetness on these pages, mixed up with Stygian darkness, like a little hope for humankind.”―Henri Cole

“This collection looks to be one of the most accomplished debuts of the year.”―Jonathan Sturgeon, Flavorwire

 

 

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