Made to Explode: Poems

February 23, 2021
Made to Explode: Poems

With lacerating honesty, technical mastery, and abidingcompassion, Made to Explode offers volatile poems for our volatiletimes.In her fourth collection, acclaimed poet Sandra Beasleyinterrogates the landscapes of her life in decisive, fearless, andprecise poems that fuse intimacy and intensity. She probes memoriesof growing up in Virginia, in Thomas Jefferson's shadow, whereliberal affluence obscured and perpetuated racist aggressions, butwhere the poet was simultaneously steeped in the culturaltraditions of the American South. Her home in Washington, DC,inspires prose poems documenting and critiquing our capital'sinstitutions and monuments.In these poems, Ruth Bader Ginsberg shows up at the FolgerShakespeare Theatre's show of Kiss Me Kate; Albert Einstein ismemorialized on Constitution Avenue, yet was denied clearance forthe Manhattan Project; as temperatures cool, a rain of spidersdrops from the dome of the Jefferson Memorial. A stirring suiteexplores Beasley's affiliation with the disability community andher frustration with the ways society codes disability asinferiority.Quintessentially American and painfully timely, these poemsexamine legacies of racism and whiteness, the shadow of monumentsto a world we are unmaking, and the privileges the poet is workingto untangle. Made to Explode boldly reckons with Beasley's rootsand seeks out resonance in society writ large.