by Dave Harris


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Dave Harris's stellar debut takes a nuanced look at the complexities of black masculinity.

Patricide weighs those complexities and how they impact a lineage of black boys who fight to become men in the image of their fathers. More than just a book about fear or death centered on being black in America, Patricide illuminates the internal struggle to be the best man possible with the shadow of other men at your back.

Through poems on loss, music, college, and family strife, Harris examines how time shifts and changes, despite so much of a life’s architecture staying the same. Ultimately, Patricide opens itself up to reveal a story of many threads, one that finds a way to tie together in unexpected and joyful ways.

Advance praise for Patricide

In these poems, Harris wrests language from the havoc white supremacy and patriarchy have wreaked. Which is to say: these are love poems doused in rage.

-Claire Schwartz Author of Bound

Patricide restricts nothing in its narrative but accomplishes everything in its clear voice and uncompromised mission.

-Will Evans Author of Still Cant Do My Daughters Hair

Particide is no ordinary book of poetry. It’s “Bars Poetica” — where elegy, invective, the contemporary, and pedestrian converge to create a disarming barrage of thudding verse. Read it like you need it.

-Marcus Wicker, Author of Silencer

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781943735501
Publisher: Button Poetry
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Series: Button Poetry
Pages: 104
Sales rank: 1,216,673
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dave Harris is a poet and playwright from West Philly. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Theater Studies in 2016 and is a candidate for the MFA in Playwriting at UC San Diego. He has received fellowships and awards from Cave Canem, Callaloo, Yale University, UC San Diego, The Kennedy Center, New Haven Arts and Humanities Co-Op, and The American Playwriting Foundation.

Read an Excerpt

My Father’s Hands

What I didn’t know was that while I was being

born, I got stuck inside of my mother. The doctor

had to use a cone and a tube to vacuum

me into the world. The pressure from the tool

squeezed my soft head into the shape of a triangle.

In the weeks following my birth, my father

would hold my naked body in the shower

and gently massage the rough corners

of my skull, almost managing to right

the disfigurement. He tells me this story

in a letter he writes twenty-two years after

my mother and her baby fled his home. And now

I understand that the odd head I’ve lived with isn’t

the result of genetics. It’s a wound. How little I knew

of all my father’s hands could do.

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