Discordant

Winner of the 2022 CAAPP Book Prize, selected by Evie Shockley

US List Price: $16.95

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Also available as e-book.

Discordant

Winner of the 2022 CAAPP Book Prize, selected by Evie Shockley

US List Price: $16.95

Buy Now

Also available as e-book.

About the Book

Richard Hamilton’s second poetry collection, Discordant, is a searing examination of injustice both within the United States and abroad, from criticisms of the US military-industrial complex and failing healthcare system to multilayered observations of marginalization through the lenses of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Hamilton’s poems look closely at increased austerity measures, commitment to mass incarceration and private prisons, disdain for workers and labor resistance, the expansion of the US military budget, the disappearance of federal subsidies for the working poor, failing schools and teacher shortages, market inflation and price gouging, and the rising tide of right-wing fascism.

Hamilton’s lyrical writing brings together free-form essays and personal narratives full of keen-eyed and urgent observations. Told from the perspective of a speaker who is unemployed and pensive, Hamilton shows how history haunts us while keeping the present in the foreground, constantly challenging oppression that has long been commonplace.


Praise for Discordant

Richard Hamilton’s Discordant at times synthesizes a war correspondent’s urgent observations with a poet’s ability to invent fresh syntax.
Washington Independent Review of Books

The poems of Discordant will haunt you—like a tune that orients your ear to what you weren’t attuned to, like a cut that slices through the noisy distractions of the day. Richard Hamilton is chopping up language, rewriting the score on poetic forms, and dissecting our racist-capitalist society at the same time, mixing and mingling the discourses of philosophy, culture, politics, healthcare, labor, and love, until we remember they all occupy and describe the same world. I’m grateful for this piercing, necessary voice.
—Evie Shockley, author of suddenly we

In his new, trenchant collection Discordant Richard Hamilton brings the fire where and when it is needed, writing poems that startle in their originality, playfulness, and sociopolitical depth and gravitas. If the best poetry provides a way to see with new, engaged eyes, Discordant does so in poem after poem, and reminds us that Hamilton, an invaluable voice in contemporary Black queer poetry, is one of the freshest and most committed poets writing today.
—John Keene, author of Punks: New and Selected Poems

Discordant is a clarion call. A genius voyage through late twentieth and twenty-first century American wasteland laid from the fallout of war. A testimony from the forgotten spaces of addiction, poverty, and racism. A dispatch from the shadows of the civil rights movement, where promises that quelled uprisings are daily disintegrating. In the tradition of James Baldwin and Fred Hampton, this poet is fearless in his words. Few understand how to make language unsettle and disrupt as Richard Hamilton does. The poems are gorgeous. They are also startling, haunting, and gritty. To my mind, this book is a game changer.
—francine j. harris, author of Here is the Sweet Hand

Richard Hamilton was born in 1975 and grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and Columbus, Georgia. Their first book, Rest of Us, was published by Recenter Press in Philadelphia. A Cave Canem alumnus, their poetry has appeared in Consequence magazine, Steel Toe Review, and Rigorous Magazine, among other print publications. They hold an MFA in […]

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