2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award
2018 NAACP Image Award
Finalist 2018 Pulitzer Prize
Finalist Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Incendiary Art confronts the tyranny against the black male body and the tenacious grief of the mothers of murdered African American men. Dynamic sequences, including a compelling chronicle of the devastating murder of Emmett Till, serve as a backdrop for present-day racial calamities and calls for resistance. With impassioned eloquence and a sharpened focus on incidents of national mayhem and mourning, Patricia Smith reinvents the role of witness with an incendiary fusion of forms, including prose poems, ghazals, sestinas, and sonnets. This phenomenal, visionary book addresses what is frightening, and what is revelatory, about history now.
'Patricia Smith doesn’t mince her words. She is writing about race in America; the black male body, and the violence perpetrated against it, is one of the prominent themes of her latest collection, Incendiary Art, which has won numerous awards already in the States, and is being published here in by Bloodaxe in the spring. She is a very urgent voice we need to hear right now..' - Emily Cullen, Cuirt Festival Director, Galway Adverstiser
'I saw Patricia Smith read in 1998 and I've been showing her poetry to students for the thick end of twenty years. A pre-order of her Incendiary Art would be a good Christmas present for anyone, including me.' - Tim Turnbull, Poetry News (Christmas Books 2018)
‘Incendiary Art is the fire this time. An epic in five movements where history becomes tragedy, becomes farce, becomes fable. Where the reader becomes complicit, where outcomes burn into forgotten memories, and where nobody gets off the hook.’ – Marlon James