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Penguin, 2017 - POETRY - 82 pages
An "astounding" (Terrance Hayes) debut collection of poems - Winner of the National Poetry Series Competition

In this ---powerful debut collection, sam sax explores and explodes the linkages between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health. These brave, formally dexterous poems examine antiquated diagnoses and procedures from hysteria to lobotomy; offer meditations on risky sex; and take up the poet's personal and family histories as mental health patients and practitioners. Ultimately, Madness attempts to build a queer lineage out of inherited language and cultural artifacts; these poems trouble the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health. sax's innovative collection embodies the strange and disjunctive workings of the mind as it grapples to make sense of the world around it.


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User Review  - Publishers Weekly

“You either love the world/ or you live in it,” proclaims Sax in a line that works as a refrain emblematic of this vivacious debut. It’s a quick-moving, wide-ranging collection, with Sax tackling ... Read full review


User Review  - Book Verdict

In this beautifully concentrated howl of a book, a startling debut, queer Jewish writer and educator Sax explores mental illness, addiction, and the unshakable grip of sexual desire. He's clearly one ... Read full review

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About the author (2017)

sam sax is a queer Jewish writer and educator. He's received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, The MacDowell Colony, the Blue Mountain Center, and the Michener Center for Writers. He's the winner of the 2016 Iowa Review Award and his poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Poetry, and other journals.

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