Might Kindred

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Pub Date 01 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 31 Oct 2022

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The poems of Might Kindred wonder aloud: can we belong to one another, and “can a people belong to a dreaming machine?” Conjuring mountains and bodies of water, queer and immigrant poetics, beloveds both human and animal, Mónica Gomery explores the intimately personal and the possibility of a collective voice. Here anthems are sung and fall apart midsong. The speaker exchanges letters with her ancestors, is visited by a shadow sister, and interrogates what it means to make a home as a first-generation American.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, the poems in Might Kindred are rooted in the body and its cousins, seeking the possibility of kinship, “in case we might kindness, might ardor together.” Belonging and unbelonging are claimed as part of the same complicated whole, and Gomery’s intersections reach for something divine at the center.

The poems of Might Kindred wonder aloud: can we belong to one another, and “can a people belong to a dreaming machine?” Conjuring mountains and bodies of water, queer and immigrant poetics, beloveds...

Advance Praise

“Into this collection’s longing arms Gomery gathers all matter of kin and all kin of matter: landscapes, stones, ‘unsiblings,’ creation myths, God, language, home, bodies, soil, dignity, ‘jagged verges,’ mirrors, and eyes. She grapples: What are we to do in a world where loss is certain, time is defiant, and the self aches to transcend its borders? Instead of offering us synthetic answers Gomery’s poems arrive ‘bare skinned on the bridge between thinking / and knowing.’ This book is an invitation, a constellation, a map. We are lucky, lucky victims of its grandeur.”—Shira Erlichman, author of Odes to Lithium

“‘If you take a child to the mountain,’ writes Mónica Gomery in Might Kindred, ‘do not expect the mountain to not live inside the child.’ Reader, you and I are the child. This collection is the mountain. Expect nothing less than to be forever changed.”—Nicole Sealey, author of Ordinary Beast

“Into this collection’s longing arms Gomery gathers all matter of kin and all kin of matter: landscapes, stones, ‘unsiblings,’ creation myths, God, language, home, bodies, soil, dignity, ‘jagged...

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ISBN 9781496232397
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Featured Reviews

Some parts were really beautiful and then there were others that I couldn't get into. However, I think this was a beautiful piece of work.

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Might Kindred is a beautiful collection of poems that explore several aspects of identity. Each poem felt like a deeply personal moment with the author; I found myself consistently engaged with how beautifully she could articulate complicated emotions about grief, pain, and the feeling of not belonging.

Some poems were a little bit over my head due to strange syntax or wording that was difficult to unpack. Overall, though, these poems were easy to relate to & form connections with. I think just about anyone could pick up this collection and find poems that speak to them.

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Might Kindred is my favorite poetry I have read all month. I especially enjoyed the poem designed to be read both horizontally and vertically in columns because it is so expressive and beautiful, and because that format allowed for expansive meaning. The imagery and storytelling in the poems was poignant and lovely, and I especially enjoyed the writing as a Jewish reader.

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The poems in this book felt at once honest and kind. The poems that face the horrific times we are living in--a two page prose poem about the Pulse Nightclub shooting, for instance--that also feel like prayer. I am agnostic, so when I say prayer, I mean a kind of call for mercy and a sense of beauty in grief and longing.

Phrases I loved and copied into my notebook:

"If you take a child to the mountain / do not expect the mountain to not live inside the child" (4)

"the light made plaid with the trees" (9)

"guilt is a fact / and shame is a wound" (17)

"the cloud-lust of storms" (20)

"I step into / the jumpsuit of her voice" (47)

"history-succulent" (58)

"night rolls fitful around us"

"our dead coming up for air in us // as if they were the muscled / backs of whales" (69)

There's an intimacy to this collection that made this feel comforting and familiar. It's the kind of reading that leads me to hope that, one day, Gomery will write a novel or--even better--a memoir or memoir-in-essays. There are some lovely prose poems in here, but even the lineanted pieces led me to think prose is in this writer's present or future.

Which isn't to say that prose is privileged--this is an absolutely lovely collection, and I look forward to reading her other collections.

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I really enjoyed this collection. It was lyric and thoughtful. The poems winded around and around in a beautiful way.

The formatting on my ebook was a bit off, though. This definitely took away from my experience -- the poems were clumped together. But, the language and the ideas were strong and beautiful.

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An electrifying work of queer poetry, lyrics from a precise mind that never overstay their welcome, even with several over one page. Every word is essential, every piece is essential, and the technical virtuosity on display here ensures that Mónica Gomery will prove to be a vital voice in contemporary poetry. In a collection of standout poems it is always difficult to pinpoint highlights without copy and pasting the entire poem to convey its cumulative effect. Several poems moved me to tears and forced me to pause and reread to fully grasp the weight of the piece. In "Prologue", which sits around the end of the first fifth, "The confusion I have felt; the trades my people have made for safety; someone else's / grief. Blue sifting into blue", forms the closest device this work has to a thesis. "Here" is a stunning look at how a small town responds to, and is complicit in gun violence, "The alderman uses the word loitering to deliver a violence against the people who've lived here for many years longer than you have." My favorite poem, and what I feel is very much the centerpiece, is "God Queers The Mountain, which follows "Here". It is one such poem that a quotation pulled from its context would be a direct injustice. The pieces ranks among the greatest poems on queer identity, struggle, and persistence. I look forward to this work's publication and I cannot wait to see the poetic magic Gomery cooks up next.

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What i love the most about Gomery’s poetry is how familiar her stories feel. Like words passed down from generation to generation that span diasporas of many cultures. When reading I feel like I know the people Gomery writes about. A short read but well worth it!

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Gomery's collection interweaves the queer experience and the immigrant experience, both collective and individual; the language frequently contrasts the natural and industrialized world. This is a beautiful collection with some real gems.

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I enjoyed reading this collection of poetry by Mónica Gomery. These poems were filled with vivid imagery, intimate word choice, and many beautiful lines. However, much of it seemed to blend together, and this collection did not keep my attention very well. Some of the poems were so complicated that they went right over my head, but many were accessible to me. My favorites included 'After Pulse' and 'God Queers the Mountain.' This was a wonderful collection to read.
Thank you to NetGalley and University of Nebraska Press for this eARC!

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This was a gorgeous collection. It deals with a number of heavy, nuanced topics with unflinching honesty that still manages to feel ultimately hopeful. The author speaks to multiple intersecting identities that are important to her, and the subjects of each poem are woven together in a way that allows the reader to feel that intersection intimately. Every linguistic choice felt purposeful. This is definitely an author I'll look out for in the future.

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Gomery's work was new to me, and it’s a marvel of queer ecopoetics. It considers spaces from the garden to the motherland; is insistently embodied as well as loftily philosophical; moves from children to elders. Some of the poems are almost prose poems, others with short lines, others in fixed forms like ghazals. I don’t mean for this to sound underwhelming, but Gomery’s explorations of queerness, relationality, and the environment are above all interesting—which is a hard feat to accomplish. There’s something new happening in this poems.

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A moving collection of private-feeling thoughts, inner turmoil, generational stories woven into lyrical webs. They require you to move through them slowly, carefully unpacking the emotionality and inference in each movement. In some poems, you will fall in headfirst and feel like you were in the room with Mónica in the moment. Others, you will need a moment to sit back and digest what you've read before you go back and read again to pick up the crumbs that trailed as you were devouring.

What stood out to me above and beyond all the others, was the Pulse Nightclub prose. Pulse remains in my mind as the years pass, it feels like a deep core wound that will never heal. Reading Gomery's prose, it felt like the pain was captured, the tenderness, the raw visceral feelings that surround our communities.

You would be missing out not to pick up Gomery's display of their intricate and beautiful mind.

** I truly feel like this book will pack its heartfelt punch when physically held in your hand. The Kindle copy was just so very disjointed in its formatting that I felt it was a disservice to the authors words.

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