A poet of existential magnitude, deep intellect and playful subversion, America's Nicole Sealey writes poems that are restless in their empathic, succinct examination and lucid awareness of what it means to be human. The ranging scope of enquiry undertaken in Ordinary Beast - at times philosophical, emotional, and experiential - is evident in each thrilling twist of image by the poet. In brilliant, often ironic lines that move from meditation to matter of fact in a single beat, Sealey's voice is always awake to the natural world, to the pain and punishment of existence, to the origins and demises of humanity.
Exploring notions of race, sexuality, gender, myth, history and embodiment with profound understanding, Sealey's is a poetry that refuses to turn a blind eye or deny. It is a poetry of daunting knowledge. Ordinary Beast was first published in the US by Ecco in 2017, and was a finalist the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award and for the PEN Open Book Award.
This first UK edition of her debut collection is published by Bloodaxe in 2023 at the same time as her second book of poetry, The Ferguson Report: An Erasure, an excerpt from which won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2021.