Begin with a Failed Body DR. NATALIE J. GRAHAM

Dr. Natalie J. Graham, Associate Professor of African American Studies, authored a book of poetry titled Begin with a Failed Body, published by University of Georgia Press, that won the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. This collection of poems begins rooted in the landscape of the U.S. South as it voices singular lives carved out of immediate and historical trauma. While these poems dwell in the body, often meditating on its frailty and desire, they also question the weight that literary, historical, and religious icons are expected to bear.

Within the vast scope of this volume, the poems arc from a pig farmer’s funeral to Georges de la Tour’s paintings and Toni Morrison’s Beloved. With an ear tuned to the lift and lilt of speech, they wring song from sorrow and plant in every dirge a seed of jubilation. Rich in clarity and decisive in her attention to image, Natalie J. Graham writes resonant, lush poetry.

Book Launch on Friday September 15, 2017 at Chevalier's in Los Angeles

Dr. Nalatie J. Graham

A native of Gainesville, Florida, Natalie earned her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Florida and completed her Ph.D. in American Studies at Michigan State University as a University Distinguished Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Callaloo, New England Review, Valley Voices: A Literary Review and Southern Humanities Review; and her articles have appeared in The Journal of Popular Culture and Transition. She is a Cave Canem fellow and Associate Professor of African American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Begin with a Failed Body, her first full-length collection of poems, won the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from University of Georgia Press. Dr. Graham's speciality includes Black Popular Music; Black Masculinity and Identity Performance; and Black Poetics. She currently teaches African American Food Culture (AFAM 301), Black Men in America (AFAM 310), African American Music Appreciation (AFAM 356), and Hip Hop Culture (AFAM 388).

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