Muscadine (Stahlecker Selections) (Paperback)

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Muscadine (Stahlecker Selections) By A. H. Jerriod Avant Cover Image

Muscadine (Stahlecker Selections) (Paperback)


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Staff Reviews


— From December 4th

A. H. Jerriod Avant’s debut collection, Muscadine, cultivates the vine of familial memory, eulogizing our collective losses while exalting the succor of this human life, how the native grape’s “thick skin    [that] teeth / pierce    breaks to pour // sweetly across the tongue.” Throughout these pages, a deeply Southern sensibility balances an environmental awareness of deficit and bounty — appetite pains the stomach and delights the palette. In all seasons, the tongue’s subversive intelligence sculpts this masterwork of love, grace, conflict, and grief. This book tastes summer and the “ruins of / an afternoon” at once; it explores the language that testifies to loss while illuminating the abundance that loss obscures. Avant accentuates the sonic joys that Black Southern voices bring to bear on memorializing the present and commemorating the past. Don’t forget, he tells us. “Look how I hunger where // there is no hunger.” See how the weather changes swiftly and forever: “Look / how pops left    before we // thought he was done.” But notice, too, how an echo sounds remembrance: “Listen, / how the voice    of a dead man // can live.” He commands us to take the brief blooms with us, says, “Pack me    a bag / I can fit    in my heart.”
A. H. Jerriod Avant was born and raised in Longtown, Mississippi. A graduate of Jackson State University, Jerriod has earned MFA degrees from Spalding University and New York University. He’s received scholarships from the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference and Naropa University’s Summer Writing Program. A former resident at the James Castle House and Vermont Studio Center, Jerriod has received two winter fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and an emerging artist grant from the St. Botolph Club Foundation. His work has appeared in the Boston Review, Pinwheel, Callaloo, Virginia Quarterly Review, Obsidian, The Yale Review, and other journals. He’s currently a Ph.D. English candidate (Spring 2023) at the University of Rhode Island and a Teaching Fellow in English at Wesleyan University.
Product Details ISBN: 9781954245709
ISBN-10: 195424570X
Publisher: Four Way Books
Publication Date: September 15th, 2023
Pages: 81
Language: English
Series: Stahlecker Selections
"Thank goodness for Jerriod Avant’s debut collection, Muscadine. Here is a beautiful book of poems that do the muscular, rustic and sassy work of elegy, pastoral and blues song. At heart this collection is about homesteading. The speakers in this book are re-organizing the landscape in the face of personal and communal loss. Avant’s ear is unmatched. His poems long to be read and shared aloud. In that, and many other ways, Muscadine will elicit intimacy and build community. A necessary book in fraught times."

—francine j. harris

"The advance in your hand is militantly unguarded. These poems, and what’s held and released in them, are so strong and inexhaustible that there is more than enough to sustain the fury of affectability. We are in love at war and our thick-skinned wine is heavy with the memory of specific pills and gut ideas and innovators under pressure. It’s just about unbelievable how deeply Jerriod Avant knows all that. Muscadine is absolutely beautiful."

—Fred Moten