Coming in September from Four Way Books
Addressing tough circumstances tenderly, this book is about life—what we inherit, what we create, what shapes us, what's possible. Starshine & Clay is a history of injustice and oppression in America. These poems run the gamut between human striving and suffering, ultimately imbued with a tenacious hope. Moon’s astonishing follow-up to award-nominated She Has a Name brings us solemn villanelle and freewheeling rhyme, sculpted minimalism and sprawling lines. It takes such range to see and hear America today, and Moon is a poet whose voice we need, whose tenderness and determination can help us look beyond as “We are left to imagine the day / it won't require imagination / to care about all of the others.” (“Imagine.”)
and sorrow cannot prevail where there exists such sympathetic and
empathetic forces as those summoned in the poems of Kamilah Aisha
Moon. The formal dexterity and range of this work cannot be conveyed
so briefly, nor the joy and beauty of the words themselves. A litany
of deaths, both public and personal, sends shockwaves of violence
through these pages with an almost overwhelming regularity. 'I
understand why many choose not to look–it really does take my
breath away.' But there is no surrender nor despondency here.
Instead, there is within these words transmission of an elemental
strength that transcends all suffering, an abiding belief in human
perseverance that ('like a tree that's planted by the water,'
declares that great old song) shall not be moved."
– D. A. Powell
“These are poems of elegy, justice, citizenship, and something altogether unearthly. Moon writes with wisdom, rage and grace of the slain, the stolen and the conquered. These are poems with the force to wake those of us 'standing in line waiting as if life is business as usual.' I find myself utterly ravaged and unreservedly restored.” – Tracy K. Smith
“Kamilah Aisha Moon’s unrelenting and gorgeous Starshine & Clay shows exactly why she is the poet we need in tough times like now. She is a fearless writer, one who finds unexpected music in our contemporary terrarium of violence. With persistent grace, Moon balances sensitivity to the world with enough fortitude to stare our cruel, collective histories in the face. These poems are testaments to lives lived and taken unjustly. These poems are full of the truths we don’t want to admit to—that brutality and suffering go beyond geography and race. That violence is more than a human episode. It’s the foundation for the way we unsee each other, whether in America, Nigeria, or what is now the Czech Republic. This is a poet who tells it like it is, but with a deftness of image & the kind of stunning wit that can make the most difficult moments visceral and rewarding.” – Adrian Matejka