Ordinary Beast by Nicole Sealey

Into the Wild



A striking, full-length debut collection from Virgin Islands-born poet Nicole Sealey

The existential magnitude, deep intellect, and playful subversion of St. Thomas-born, Florida-raised poet Nicole Sealey’s work is restless in its empathic, succinct examination and lucid awareness of what it means to be human.

The ranging scope of inquiry 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. 

Title : Ordinary Beast
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0062688820
Edition Language : English
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 80 pages


Jenny (Reading Envy) rated it ★★★★☆

August 27, 2017

I requested a review copy of this from Edelweiss before I saw it on NPR's Poetry to Pay Attention To in 2017 list, but they weren't wrong. Nicole Sealy has the ability to embody the pain of others, and empathy and shared anger or sadness fill many of these poems. A great example is Virginia is f...

Peycho rated it ★★★★★

December 02, 2017

medical history I’ve been pregnant. I’ve had sex with a man who’s had sex with men. I can’t sleep. My mother has, my mother’s mother had, asthma. My father had a stroke. My father’s mother has high blood pressure. Both grandfathers died from diabetes. I drink. I don’t smoke. Xanax for flying. Propranolol...

Jerrie (redwritinghood) rated it ★★★★☆

September 15, 2017

This book of poems is divided into three sections. I was worried at first that it wasn't going to live up to the hype, but spending more time with it, and particularly the third section, convinced me that it does. Exploring race in America, myth, love and death with both beauty and stark reality....

Jenna rated it ★★★★☆

December 03, 2017

”O, / how I’ll miss you when we’re dead." -Nicole Sealey, from “Object Permanence" Though her poetry previously appeared in The New Yorker and New York Times and her chapbook The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named was published in 2015, Ordinary Beast (2017) is Nicole Sealey’s first full-le...

Andrea rated it ★★★★★

December 02, 2017

There are many great lines and poems in this, but one jumped out at me that I wish I could steal for myself. "You look just like your mother," he says, "who looks just like a fire of suspicious origin." Goddamn.

Halley rated it ★★★★★

September 23, 2017

4.5 but I'll round up. Will need to re-read to fully mine all the richness here.

Chris rated it ★☆☆☆☆

August 14, 2017

Poetry's sole intent is the subjugation of the poet's identity via commercial forces - publication is self-murder. Poetry suicides itself famously, form will never equal me, unpredictable drop dead dangerously. Verse, State of oxygen deprived poems readers condemned to prefabricated verse the IKEA of poe...

Cedric rated it ★★★★☆

December 14, 2017

Pros: Gorgeous. really 4.6-4.7ish. I started reading this book in a sandwich shop near my job and wanted it to be good. I know the author and while I had seen enough of her work to give me confidence that it'd be really good, sometimes you read individual poems you like only to get to the full-le...

Patti rated it ★★★★☆

December 09, 2017

This debut poetry book is written by a Virgin Islands-born poet who was raised in Florida. Her clear empathic insights and questions keep us deep in the moment. Her range is wide and powerful. She even includes a startlingly good cento (a hundred line poem comprised of other authors' lines set into a...

Janine rated it ★★★☆☆

December 04, 2017

Just one or two poems really spoke to me. Of course the candelabra poem about lynching and then one which was a play on Brad “Pitt” - she used the word or sound “pit” in a playful way throughout the poem and it was pure fun with words- I didn’t even know I liked that. So I just bumped it up to 3...

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