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
About the Author
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.