Selected by Joy Harjo as the winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets

Emily Skaja’s debut collection is a fiery, hypnotic book that confronts the dark questions and menacing silences around gender, sexuality, and violence. Brute arises, brave and furious, from the dissolution of a relationship, showing how such endings necessitate self-discovery and reinvention. The speaker of these poems is a sorceress, a bride, a warrior, a lover, both object and agent, ricocheting among ways of knowing and being known. Each incarnation squares itself up against ideas of feminine virtue and sin, strength and vulnerability, love and rage, as it closes in on a hard-won freedom.

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SKU: 9781555978358 Categories: ,


Our Bookseller says:

“The cover of Brute is a portrait of Fenrir, the world-ending wolf of Norse myth, but it’s titled “Gleipnir” after the impossible ribbon that binds him and spares us his violence. This contradictory chain — mades of a fish’s breath and a bird’s spit — is nowhere near enough to hold back Emily Skaja’s rage. She is more than willing to embrace contradictions; the chains that still the wolf are whips in her hands. Skaja’s poems have shades of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. They also have shades of your high school-era breakup poetry, in the best way. They’re angry, vulnerable, confessional, and (just occasionally) darkly funny. Some will chill you to the bone, others are like watching a wildfire, but all of them will you totally shaken.” – Terry