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Gumbo Ya Ya: Poems

Gumbo Ya Ya: Poems

by Aurielle Marie
Gumbo Ya Ya: Poems

Gumbo Ya Ya: Poems

by Aurielle Marie


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Winner of the 2022 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Poetry, Gumbo Ya Ya, Aurielle Marie’s stunning debut, is a cauldron of hearty poems exploring race, gender, desire, and violence in the lives of Black gxrls, soaring against the backdrop of a contemporary South. These poems are loud, risky, and unapologetically rooted in the glory of Black gxrlhood. The collection opens with a heartrending indictment of injustice. What follows is a striking reimagination of the world, one where no Black gxrl dies “by the barrel of the law” or “for loving another Black gxrl.” Part familial archival, part map of Black resistance, Gumbo Ya Ya catalogs the wide gamut of Black life at its intersections, with punching cultural commentary and a poetic voice that holds tenderness and sharpness in tandem. It asks us to chew upon both the rich meat and the tough gristle, and in doing so we walk away more whole than we began and thoroughly satisfied.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822966661
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 09/21/2021
Series: Pitt Poetry Series
Edition description: 1
Pages: 120
Sales rank: 286,044
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Aurielle Marie is a Black and queer essayist, poet, and cultural strategist hailing from the Deep South. A 2019 Ploughshares Emerging Writer award recipient, she’s received invitations to fellowships from many literary institutions, including Lambda Literary, VONA Voices, and Tin House. Her work is featured in TriQuarterly, Southeast Review, Black Warrior, and other journals. Aurielle Marie writes and speaks about Blackness, bodies, sex, and pop culture from a Black feminist lens.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from “transhistorical for the x in my gxrls”

What I mean is, this country is mine
if only because from my mouth I spit its loam
and unspun a noose. I won’t exploit the only
metaphor they gave us willingly, and instead hunt for
other vicious things to make a muse. I earned this country.
I owe it nothing. With my infinite, infant hand, I manipulated
a death sentence into a compound-complex one.
from the umbilical, I bled a life worth writing down and in
a century’s time, there will be another word created still
for the weeping magic of this same story: a Black gxrl’s first breath.

Table of Contents

Notes & acknowledgments 1


What had happened 11

Gxrl gospel i 13

Portrait of rage with caution tape & bullhorns 15

War strategies for every hood 17

I, too, sing america 19

No name in the street 20

Gxrl gospel ii 22

Grxl gospel iii 25

Transhistorical for the x in my gxrls 26

& not by sight 32


The creek behind my childhood home was one of those small heavens 35

& what is a heaven without a god to break it 36

Some of the men we love are terrorists 37

Father-son & holy 38

Unholy ghazal 40

Yes, i am done with the god of white men 41

Grxl gospel iv 43

Transhistorical and i observe the Sabbath like a ill verse 45

Independent 47

Listen, 48

A poem of failures 50

Held like arsenic in each of my kin's mouths 52

CPT or lessons in god-timing 56


Gumbo ya ya 61


Pantoum for aiyana 75

Georgia me 77

Like a freedom too strange to be conquered 79

Thottin on fountain drive 81

The world between me is gender 84

Transhistorical for the men we love 85

Filé 87

Egungun 89

Wayward experiments 90

This poem is a hex, tread light 92

Psalm in which i demand a new name for my kin 95

In the event i become some unrecognizable beast 97

More notes 101

Acknowledgments 105

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