• Date of Birth: Poems

Date of Birth: Poems

Winner of the 2022 Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize, haunting vignettes of people betrayed by family and American society.

The poems in this bracing debut do not shy away from incomprehensible tragedies: racism, poverty, abuse, and addiction, incest, and infidelities of the body and mind. Yet the world depicted by Shawn R. Jones has moments of humor and playfulness—for example, in a litany of indelible nicknames of the members of her childhood cohort in Atlantic City. If Date of Birth is heart-wrenching in its journalistic reporting of suffering, it is also a testament to the strength and resilience of the figures it portrays.

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