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WINNER OF THE JUDITH A. MARKOWITZ AWARD
2020 LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD WINNER
In this debut collection by African American poet Xan Phillips, HULL explores emotional impacts of colonialism and racism on the Black queer body and the present-day emotional impacts of enslavement in urban, rural, and international settings. HULL is lyrical, layered, history-ridden, experimental, textured, adorned, ecstatic, and emotionally investigative.
In their debut collection, Xan Phillips explores embodiment and colonization through lenses of race, gender and queerness. These poems are powerful and intense. This complex and historically layered collection takes some work on the part of white cis readers; but it’s just the work we should be doing.
In this debut collection, Phillips’s poems breathe a story as long as time, in which history holds to its pattern of the same crimes committed again and again against the Black body. Into a world where it is still audacious to speak truth, they exhale condemnation, reclamation, empathy and light.
In the tradition of Natasha Trethewey and Danez Smith, Phillips sees a through line from slavery to racism past and present. HULL is their bold indictment of prejudice.
Two poems from HULL featured in BOMB! Click here to read.
Xan Phillips interviewed by Logan February for The Aldroit Journal! Click here to read.
Xan Phillips talks about HULL with Franny Choi & Danez Smith on The VS Podcast – listen here!
Xan Phillips interviewed by Ruben Quesada for the Kenyon Review! Click here to read.
Xan Phillips’s debut collection, Hull, is vast in both ambition and scope, striving to capture the depths and complexity of queer diasporic African identity in verse that is as fierce as it is tender and searing as it is celebratory. And, like the oceanic waters of the Middle Passage that serve as its fulcrum, Hull has immeasurable depths and dangers swirling beneath its surface.
Xan Phillips & HULL featured in Autostraddle’s “Eight Black LGBTQ Poets To Give Your Flowers To Right Now“:
Phillips’ work often deals with that intimacy and the greater question of being a vulnerable person in the world. Their poems confront the history and the present together in the same room, while discussing the intricacies of being a black queer person in a post-colonial world.
Hull is a reminder of our collective endeavor to swim murky waters, shark-ridden seas, just to feel our kin, to kiss our loves, to remember our tongues, to make a life.
Xan Phillips in conversation about HULL with Lucy Hayes in The Rumpus! Click here to read.
Xan Phillips interviewed by Brian Gentes after winning the Judith A. Markowitz Award!
“My favorite approach to writing has been to switch between it and painting for the duration of the day. When the paint is drying, I write. When the draft is settling, I paint. The longer I paint, the more sensitive I become to fonts.”
Click here to read the full interview!
Hull demonstrates Phillips’s ability to expand the lyric to its breaking point, which makes this book a promising debut.
Phillips’ book is a hand carved hull. A collection of wet darkness holding celestial, limitless Black bodies, which exist repeatedly between history’s most nefarious building blocks of white supremacy and 21st century diaspora… Hull is not a balm or teaching tool, rather it’s a territory that Phillips establishes and then asks us to look upon.
Phillips produces an account of Black existence, while also summoning breath, touch, and taste as tools of emancipation and resistance.
Click here to view Xan Phillips’s interview with Darshita Jain!
Xan Phillips is a poet and visual artist from rural Ohio. He is the author of the poetry collection Hull (2019), winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Trans …