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Milkweed Editions

Dēmos: An American Multitude

Dēmos: An American Multitude

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From the intersection of Onondaga, Japanese, Cuban, and Appalachian cultures, Benjam n Naka-Hasebe Kingsley's newest collection arrives brimming with personal and political histories.

"'You tell me how I was born what I am, '" demands Naka-Hasebe Kingsley--of himself, of the reader, of the world. The poems of Dēmos: An American Multitude seek answers in the Haudenosaunee story of The Lake and Her children; in the scope of a .243 aimed at a pregnant doe; in the Dōgen poem jotted on a napkin by his obaasan; in a flag burning in a church parking lot. Here, Naka-Hasebe Kingsley places multiracial displacement, bridging disparate experiences with taut, percussive language that will leave readers breathless.

With astonishing formal range, Dēmos also documents the intolerance that dominates American society. What can we learn from mapping the genealogy of a violent and loud collective? How deeply do anger, violence, and oppression run in the blood? From adapted Punnett squares to Biblical epigraphs to the ghastly comment section of a local news website, Dēmos diagrams surviving America as an other-ed American--and it refuses to flinch from the forces that would see that multitude erased.

Dēmos is a resonant proclamation of identity and endurance from one of the most intriguing new voices in American letters--a voice singing "long on America as One / body but many parts."

Author: Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Published: 03/09/2021
Pages: 96
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.35lbs
Size: 8.40h x 6.40w x 0.40d
ISBN: 9781571315250

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal 07/01/2021 pg. 75

About the Author
Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. He is the author of Colonize Me and Not Your Mama's Melting Pot, winners and finalists of over a dozen awards. Affrilachian poet and Kundiman alum, Naka-Hasebe Kingsley is recipient of the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and Tickner Fellowships. His work has appeared in numerous publications such as The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNEXT, Native Voices: Honoring Indigenous Poetry, Georgia Review, Kenyon Review, Oxford American, Poetry, and Tin House. He is an assistant professor of poetry and nonfiction in Old Dominion University's MFA program.

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