Joy is the Justice We Give Ourselves

Joy is the Justice We Give Ourselves

by: J. Drew Lanham
Release date: Apr 2nd, 2024

From J. Drew Lanham, MacArthur "Genius" Grant Recipient and author of Sparrow Envy: A Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts, comes a sensuous new collection in his signature mix of poetry and prose. Read More

Hardcover - $17.00
(ISBN: 979-8-88574-030-2)

From J. Drew Lanham, MacArthur "Genius" Grant Recipient and author of Sparrow Envy: A Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts, comes a sensuous new collection in his signature mix of poetry and prose.
In gorgeous and timely pieces, Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves is a lush journey into wildness and Black being. Lanham notices nature through seasonal shifts, societal unrest, and deeply personal reflection and traces a path from bitter history to the present predicament. Drawing canny connections between the precarity of nature and the long arm of racism, the collection offers reconciliation and eco-reparation as hopeful destinations from our current climate of division. In Joy is the Justice We Give Ourselves, Lanham mines the deep connection to ancestors through the living world and tunes his unique voice toward embracing the radical act of joy.

Praise for Joy is the Justice We Give Ourselves & J. Drew Lanham

“With his consistently engaging writing, keen eye, and generosity of spirit, Lanham is a writer to whom we should all listen closely. Lanham memorably, vibrantly shows how choosing joy is an act of resilience, courage, and power.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
“Lanham is warmly contemplative, righteous, incensed, funny, and grateful. His poetics, knowledge, and dissent run deep; his poems are winged.” Booklist, Starred Review
Joy Is the Justice We Give Ourselves is a melodious collection—an ode to choosing joy and to the resilience that such choosing requires.” —Brooke Shannon, Foreword Reviews
“A deeply personal book that evokes joy and reflection by a writer whose generosity of spirit emanates from the page.” —Amy Brady, Literary Hub
“Interweaving poetry and prose, Black joy shines through in this eco-aware, Black-centered book that offers a refreshing point of view and demands that Black bodies receive the same beautified Earth on which we were all born.” —The New York Amsterdam News
“These poems don’t speak to us as readers alone, though. They feel deeply personal, as if we’re getting a glimpse into Lanham’s journal entries on a morning after he’s been birding. He’s instructing himself, as well. Perhaps these instructions are his way of practicing the justice of joy—how to stay alive and thrive as a Black man in a nation where Black joy has been long fought for centuries.” Ciona Rouse, Chapter 16
“A deeply satisfying focus on birds and yet, in these pages, it is humankind that gets examined with candor and cunning. Lanham's essential convergences of lyric and inquisition prove a satisfying reward.” —Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonder
“A keen-eyed observer of human nature and greater-than-human Nature, he sings the necessary songs of our time. Birding and poetry are practices of attentiveness, and the attention Lanham’s given these poems will greatly reward any reader’s attention. Lanham’s is a vision and voice I admire; I’m as grateful for this book, this field guide, as he is grateful for the wildness in the world.” —Sean Hill, author of Dangerous Goods
“There's so much to admire here in the dense thicket of Drew Lanham's first poems and lyric prose pieces he calls 'field marks.' We don't need a literary field guide to recognize such a rare bird singing among us.” —John Lane, author of Neighborhood Hawks
“...thoughtful, sincere, wise, and beautiful.” —Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk
J. Drew Lanham

J. Drew Lanham

J. Drew Lanham is the author of Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts and The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man's Love Affair with Nature. He has received a MacArthur "Genius" Grant as well as the Dan W. Lufkin Conservation Award (National Audubon Society), the Rosa Parks and Grace Lee Boggs Outstanding Service Award (North American Association for Environmental Education), and the E. O. Wilson Award for Outstanding Science in Biodiversity Conservation (Center for Biological Diversity). He served as the Poet Laureate of Edgefield, South Carolina in 2022. He is a bird watcher, poet, and Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University. He lives in Seneca, South Carolina.

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