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Today's poem is "the mutt as mudbone"
from i be, but i ain’t

YesYes Books

Aziza Barnes is blk & alive. Born in Los Angeles, Aziza currently lives in Oxford, Mississippi. Aziza's first chapbook, me Aunt Jemima and the nailgun, was the first winner of the Exploding Pinecone Prize from Button Poetry, and Barnes' first full length collection of poems, i be but i ain't, is the winner of the 2015 Pamet River Prize with YesYes Books.

Books by Aziza Barnes:

Other poems on the web by Aziza Barnes:
Two poems
Five poems
Four poems
Two poems
"After We Drank The Table"
"aziza meets charlie parker in an unspecified bar on 52nd street"

Aziza Barnes on Twitter.

About i be, but i ain't:

"i be, but i ain't is a powerful debut that refuses to stroke you soft or angle to be your best friend. Instead, these poems revel in the menagerie of their own discomfort, and ours. Barnes’s is a wild imagination and her poems are an ill grammar akin to Jayne Cortez’s percussive surrealism of the body...Her poetic is challenging and sophisticated, in a language that refuses to assuage."
—Dawn Lundy Martin

"Poetry. African & African American Studies. "Incandescent in her brutality & neon truth, Aziza Barnes writes her way into an urgent Black, wide & beautiful in its scream. You will find lightning here. You will discover a bruised constellation exploding in a vast black body. Her syllables devour the sweet hurt & harm of their own naked limbs & offer us a generous feast. Aziza Barnes is her own revolution, her own galactic orbit & oracle. She writes, 'In my own home I attempt nightly/to eat my body alive.' These poems suck their teeth & know their own desperate bones. She grieves, 'i done walked with a name i couldn't shake & now i gone.' Shaped and forged in powerful consciousness, Aziza Barnes possesses a gifted voice that will always be needed and necessary. The poems of this extraordinary debut sweat themselves Black with imagination and desire. In I BE, BUT I AIN'T, Barnes achieves both freedom & forgiveness in an ache that persists infinitely in its intelligence & intuition. Listen to her: 'I am ungloved in a sabbath of spit.'"
—Rachel Eliza Griffiths



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