CM Burroughs was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and earned degrees from Sweet Briar College and the University of Pittsburgh. She has been awarded fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Idyllwild Arts, Cave Canem Foundation, and Callaloo Writers Workshop, and both the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Warhol Museum have commissioned her to create poetry in response to art installations. She lives in Chicago where she is the Elma Stuckey Emerging Poet-in-Residence at Columbia College.
The Vital Systemby C. M. Burroughs
Poetry. African American Studies. THE VITAL SYSTEM is the first published book by a poet already setting off sparks among readers across the globe. In these poems, the body is always at stake—vulnerable—and the poet dares to try and illuminate what she has called "the protective capability of violence." Burroughs's compression of phrasing, subverted
Poetry. African American Studies. THE VITAL SYSTEM is the first published book by a poet already setting off sparks among readers across the globe. In these poems, the body is always at stake—vulnerable—and the poet dares to try and illuminate what she has called "the protective capability of violence." Burroughs's compression of phrasing, subverted syntax, and ability to release a story through cinematically sequenced images allow her to expose particular tensions that are gendered and racial as well as essentially human.
"With gorgeous horror, Burroughs's debut thrusts the body forward as an intelligence, a syntax, a theater. The narrator of these poems seems to come apart before my eyes; yet she never disintegrates—she teems. Here is vivid grief, livid vulnerability and bristling sensuality. Here is terrible resilience and dangerous vitality."—Douglas Kearney
"There is no doubt, CM Burroughs is one of those few beings who are hewn out of the living body of Poetry. But the poem speaks, says Celan. The poem, that is to say, this body which is at one with language, which breathes, swallows, revels in its house of words. How does one recognize a poem? By the fact that, when one reads it, one can feel this living thing caressing us inwardly, licking our hearts, weeping tears into our blood. A poem drips through to us. In an injection of luminous sentences. There is no doubt, each thought of CM Burroughs's is a poem. The reunion of the self with its primeval worlds. CM Burroughs delves into the ultra-sensitive roots of being; where sufferings and desires take shape, she gathers each breath as yet unheard and leads it to speech."—Hélène Cixous
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