Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney has published six books, most recently, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Memorial Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). BOMB says: “[Buck Studies] remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” M. NourbeSe Philip calls Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito, 2016), “a seismic, polyphonic mash-up that disturbs the tongue.” Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” Starts Spinning (Rain Taxi), a chapbook of poetry, saw publication in 2019. His work is widely anthologized, including Best American Poetry (2014, 2015), Best American Experimental Writing (2014), The Creative Critic: Writing As/About Practice, What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, and The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop. He is also widely published in magazines and journals, including Poetry, Callaloo, Boston Review, Hyperallergic, Jacket2, and Lana Turner. His work has been exhibited at the American Jazz Museum, Temple Contemporary, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and The Visitor’s Welcome Center (Los Angeles). A librettist, Kearney has had four operas staged, most recently Sweet Land, which received rave reviews from The LA Times, The NY Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The LA Weekly. He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Cy Twombly Award for Poetry, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. A Howard University and CalArts alum, Kearney teaches Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in St. Paul.

All Books


Douglas Kearney

Publication Date: March 1, 2014

$17.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-580-8


For a couple struggling with infertility, conception is a war against their bodies. Blood and death attend. But when the war is won, and life stares, hungry, in the parents’ faces, where does that violence, anxiety, and shame go? The poems in Patter re-imagine miscarriages as minstrel shows, magic tricks, and comic strips; set Darth Vader against Oedipus’s dad in competition for “Father of the Year;” and interrogate the poet’s family’s stint on reality TV. In this, his third collection, award-winning poet Douglas Kearney doggedly worries the line between love and hate, showing how it bleeds itself into “fatherhood.”


“Where, oh where would we be without the dynamic intelligence and feats of lyric daring that Douglas Kearney’s work has delivered to American poetry? The poems in Patter run back and forth through the realms of private interiority, popular culture, and the vast public arena of history, all the while re-inventing what the poetic line is capable of bearing and baring. Completely and un-ironically alive with genuine feeling, these are poems that are not afraid to say and show how we matter to one another.”—Tracy K. Smith

“Because bodies matter, name, beget and conceive, Douglas Kearney’s Patter exists within the stall, the break, the miscarriage in bodies bothered by history, blood and breath. What is it to father the inchoate and the ineffable that exists in the life of the black family? Kearney’s exquisite poems dissolve our sight, force us to speak aloud, and compel us to hunt and find within the illogic logic of our lives. Patter is its own genius music—revolutionary, intimate and everyone’s.”—Claudia Rankine

Fear, Some

Douglas Kearney

Publication Date: November 1, 2006

$17.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-071-1


Stealing tropes from militancy to minstrelsy, Fear, some broadcasts from the slippery moments when personal, national, racial and aesthetic anxieties overlap. These poems seek to pressurize content (“At the Pink Teacup”), language (“Atomic Buckdance”) and form (the Blaxploitation epic-remix, “(dig!) Bloom is Boom, Sucka!”) until they evoke suspicion, tension, fear and the laughter that rattles after the horrifyingly ridiculous.


Cai Emmons, author of LIVID, Interviewed by Fellow Red Hen Author Aimee Liu in LA Review of Books!

THROUGHOUT HER LENGTHY writing career, Cai Emmons has returned again and again to the topic of catastrophe. Three of her most recent novels, including her 2022 groundbreaker Unleashed, have wrestled with the psychological, emotional, and physical impacts of the climate crisis. Her other novels, like Livid (also published in 2022), revolve around the persistence of danger in the wake […]

Aimee Liu’s GLORIOUS BOY featured on Business Insider’s list of books to make you cry!

“When looking for your next great read, it’s easy to gravitate towards romance novels with happy endings or fantasy books with satisfying conclusions. But just as horror fans love a creepy-crawly feeling and sci-fi readers crave the chaos of a good dystopia, it can feel good to experience the raw emotions of a devastating story that makes you want to cry.” 

Douglas Kearney interviewed on Commonplace Podcast!

‎Dear Listener, For this, our 99th episode, Rachel welcomes poet, interdisciplinary artist, and professor Douglas Kearney to Commonplace. This conversation, recorded in early November 2021, has been a long time coming. And even before then, Rachel had been hoping to talk to Douglas Kearney for years. Did you know he’s also one of our most […]

Keith Flynn interviewed for Citizen Times!

Renowned Madison County author, poet and multihyphenate Keith Flynn recently published his latest book, the product of more than eight years worth of interviews.  Keith Flynn’s “Prosperity Gospel: The Portraits of the Great Recession,” co-authored by New Hampshire resident Charter Weeks, is the latest work released by the Madison County native Flynn, the founder and […]

When Your Book Publishes In A Pandemic — Authors, Including Aimee Liu, Talk About Terrible Timing

Sarah Ramey’s first book was supposed to be a very big deal. Her publishers expected The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness to be a runaway best seller.”We had a huge publicity slate,” she says, a bit shyly. “You know, the Today show and CBS This Morning and, actually, NPR’s Weekend Edition.” The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah RameyAnchor But […]

Aimee Liu featured in the Los Angeles Times!

The second dose was supposed to be my reunion pass. Thanks to COVID-19, I couldn’t get back to Connecticut for my mother’s 100th birthday at Christmastime, but once we were both fully vaccinated, I’d feel safe to fly across the country. We’d hug for the first time since 2019. Read the full article here!

THE SKIN OF MEANING by Keith Flynn featured on Third Mind Books

Pasadena, CA: Red Hen Press, 2020. First Edition. Softcover. “There are perfectly good explanations/ for the simultaneous risks we juggle./ There are shipyards of baubles/ and harbors that have dried up/ and martinis made up by Episcopalians/ that burnish them for the plagiarisms/ of the Holy Spirit. It’s only right/ that the room is furnished/ with importance and low light./ […]

AFTER RUBÉN featured in UK Morning Star Online

My list of the best Latinx poetry published this year includes After Ruben (Red Hen Press), a stunning collection of poems by Francisco Aragon, inspired by another of Latin America’s greatest poets and thinkers, Ruben Dari; Postcolonial Love Poem (Graywolf Press) by Natalie Diaz, a remarkable exploration of Mojave culture, oppression and bodies of water, as well as queer […]

Harvard Review Online features Francisco Aragón’s AFTER RUBÉN.

A post-confessional collection by Francisco Aragón, After Rubén probes personal history, political identity, and place. Imitation is the highest form of flattery, and Aragón’s collection in response to Rubén Darío’s work shows his admiration for the modernist Nicaraguan poet as well as a patchwork of contemporary poets like Ernesto Cardenal, Andrés Montoya, and Juan Felipe Herrera. He venerates […]

Keith Flynn featured on Poetry at the Dalí

Join us on YouTube for this special streaming installment of our Poetry at The Dalí series. Poetry at The Dalí is an ongoing series hosted by St. Petersburg Poet Laureate, Helen Wallace. Occurring on the second Thursday of each month through May 2020, each evening will feature Wallace joined by selected poets. Following the presentation, there will be an […]

Francisco Aragón featured in a conversation on Words on a Wire podcast!

In today’s episode listen to the conversation between host Daniel Chacon and poet Francisco Aragon about his most recent work ‘About Rubén.’ Aragon’s poems and translations have appeared in various print and online journals, as well as numerous anthologies. His work as a translator includes four books by Francisco X. Alarcón, as well as work […]

A Conversation with Keith Flynn, author of THE SKIN OF MEANING, on Medium

From the moment I read it, this line of poetry sat heavy on my mind, encapsulating, for me, the root of identity and the acknowledgement of its inescapability. It churned up personal queries about my own self and my own wrinkles. Yet before I had spoken with Keith Flynn, the author who catalyzed my introspection, […]

19 Books by Hispanic Authors

If you’re looking for some new books to dive into while you’re stuck at home, then you might want to consider some of the many great books by Hispanic authors. For years, Hispanic authors have created engaging stories that weave elements from their history and culture with modern issues that affect people of all ethnicities. […]

Hoopla: July Riveting Reads

Hoopla featured Aimee Liu’s Glorious Boy on their list of Riveting Reads for July 2020. Find the entire list here.

Read Your Way Around the World

With travel plans cancelled for the foreseeable future, we’re all looking for new ways to feel transported from our homes, without putting our families at risk. That’s where these book duos come into play! With one title for adults and one for kids (ranging from books for younger children to YA for teens), each pair […]

THE SKIN OF MEANING by Keith Flynn featured on the North Carolina Writers’ Network

“For some time we’ve been waiting for a poet to appear who could adequately confront the vast and deliriously complex matter of the USA—its people, its art, its material and popular culture, its misdeeds and its election mistakes. Also, one who could respond to the artistic legacy of Europe. Keith Flynn is that poet. His […]

GMR: Francisco Aragón on The Social Distance Reading Series

Francisco Aragón is the son of Nicaraguan immigrants. He’s the author of After Rubén, Glow of Our Sweat and Puerta del Sol, as well as editor of The Wind Shifts: New Latino Poetry. He directs Letras Latinas, the literary initiative at Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies.

Author2Author with Aimee Liu

Bill welcomes novelist, essayist, and teacher Aimee Liu to the show. Aimee is the author of numerous bestselling novels as well as nonfiction books on medical and psychological topics. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Ms., and many other publications. She is on the faculty of Goddard College’s MFA […]

The Booklist Reader: Glorious Boy

Liu’s eponymous “glorious boy” exists at the intersection of families, communities, countries, cultures—and, for a while, life and death. His spirited, adventurous parents—Shep, a British doctor obsessed with the healing power of indigenous plants, and American Claire, a would-be anthropologist without an official degree—arrive in 1936 in the remote Andaman Islands in India’s Bay of […]

PSA: Francisco Aragón “1985”

1985 Long and black, the streaksof gray, aflutter in the lightwind as she prepares to tell her story at the Federal Building:reaching into a tattered sackshe pulls out a doll missing an eye, balding—singed face smudged with sootfrom the smoke her home took in [. . .]

Chapter 16: The Skin of Meaning excerpt

The Skin of Meaning He was late to the party and without directions,though his invitation was secure, and his instinctskeenly honed to an acceptable edge, and as we arewaiting to see if the fates will hear our ode to joy,we are given the sound of a man losing everything;this is the hissing of his agitation, […]

Lithub: Finding My Story in the Colonial Past of the Andaman Islands

My new novel Glorious Boy began with a dream. On a tropical island during an emergency evacuation, a young girl was hiding in a dense rainforest with a small, mute white boy in her care. The girl, local to this island, knew the boy’s parents would not take her with them. She was hiding out of equal […]

Ms. Magazine Poetry for the Rest of Us: 2020 Roundup

The Feminist Know-It-All: You know her. You can’t stand her. Good thing she’s not here! Instead, this column by gender and women’s studies librarian Karla Strand will amplify stories of the creation, access, use and preservation of knowledge by women and girls around the world; share innovative projects and initiatives that focus on information, literacies, libraries and more; and, of […]

Douglas Kearney recieves a Whiting Writers Award, 2008

And We Shall March blog shared the news that Log Angeles poet, Douglas Kearney, just recieved one of the coveted 2008 Whiting Writers Awards, a $50,000 prize bestowed upon writers of exceptional talent and promise early in their careers. This is a major award and puts Kearney in the company of past recipients like Denis […]

Douglas Kearney is a California Book Award Finalist!

Yesterday, The Commonwealth Club announced the finalists of this year's California Book Awards, and we are delighted that Douglas Kearney's poetry collection, Patter, is a finalist for the poetry award! The awards ceremony will be held on June 1st. For a full list of the other finalists for all awards, click

Douglas Kearney’s Poetry Readings Featured on The Poetry Foundation

At first glance, Douglas Kearney's poems in his collection, Patter, consist of words clustered in impossible ways on the page, leaving the reader to wonder how they are read. Now, Kearney himself as provided recordings of his poems at The Poetry Foundation that prove to be as startling sonically as they are visually. Hear Kearney […]


THE SKIN OF MEANING by Keith Flynn Reviewed in North of Oxford!

The Skin of Meaning by Keith Flynn is an interesting mixture of contemporary reactions to issues that affect us in the twenty-first century.  Keith presents one hundred and eighty-one pages of poetry divided in three sections entitled Etymologies, Dichotomies and Necrologies. Flynn uses a variety of poetic forms in each section and presents his messages in fresh imagery, clear logic and almost […]

GLORIOUS BOY by Aimee Liu reviewed by La viduité

Decode the savagery of silence, the language of separation and guilt, also deceive that of the enemy. A rather classic novel in its form, in its informed reconstruction of a little-known part of history (World War II in the Andaman Islands), The Magnificent Boy is a beautiful reflection on the links between men and how they escape language […]

BODY OF RENDER by Felicia Zamora reviewed in Booklist!

There is a jagged urgency to award-winning and CantoMundo Fellow Zamor’s sixth book. The opening section, “At the Hand of Other,” consists of 30 one-stanza poems that each lean toward memory and immediacy while the poet seeks balance within a staggering sense of loss. “Poem to America” reads: “oh / society oh; what you cull, piece by piece; what / you strip; […]

Douglas Kearney’s PATTER reviewed by The Georgia Review

In a decade of reading and writing about motherhood poetry—including an essay-review in these pages in 2019—I have found no universal truths about motherhood. However, as I’ve worked with poet Nancy Reddy to edit an anthology of motherhood poems and essays—The Long Devotion: Poets Writing Motherhood—I’ve identified plenty of common strands. Many who gave birth […]

Keith Flynn’s THE SKIN OF MEANING reviewed in Pedestal Magazine!

Keith Flynn might be the love child of William Blake and Etta James. In his latest collection, The Skin of Meaning, he moves easily from whisper to croon to full-throated growl. As in his five earlier collections, he shows his skillful use of alliteration and brilliant mastery of the vowel register. Most of the poems are […]

A Point of Change

Aimee Liu’s Glorious Boy gives readers a portrait of a young mother and fledgling anthropologist caught in a remote outpost in the midst of World War Two. Two of Liu’s three previous novels (Flash House, Cloud Mountain, and Face) were set in Asia, and all deal with themes of race, colonialism, and women strengthening their identities. Glorious Boy takes readers […]

RHINO: reviews After Rubén

In the essay that caps his latest poetry collection, After Rubén, Francisco Aragón traces his relationship with the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867-1916). From the initial gift of a handful of Darío lines recited by Aragón’s mother, to the long poem, “Los motivos del lobo,” which Aragón describes as his “inheritance” from his father, to […]

Writers’ Voices: Aimee Liu Sets

In the South Asian archipelago known as the Andaman Islands, aboriginal tribes thrived for 60,000 years before the onset of British colonialism nearly wiped them out. Best selling novelist Aimee Liu struggled for years to set a book there, but got nowhere until she finally had the opportunity to visit the islands and learn of […]

Washington Independent Review of Books: Glorious Boy

Aimee Liu’s fourth novel, Glorious Boy — a family drama set against the backdrop of World War II and the rumblings of Indian independence from British colonialist rule — is big, ambitious, sometimes messy, and consistently stunning. This novel tugged at my heart in all the right ways. I got teary explaining to my husband why I’d […]

Kenyon Review: After Rubén

A champion of contemporary Latinx poetry, Francisco Aragón returns with his third collection, After Rubén (Red Hen Press). A scholar, translator, and the son of Nicaraguan immigrants, Aragón draws inspiration from the life and work of Rubén Darío, building lyrics around responses to the latter’s legacy. The result is a brilliant hybridity, filled with erasures, riffs, and interpretations […]

Historical Novel Society: Glorious Boy

1942: Clair and Shep Durant, along with their mute four-year-old son, Ty, wait for evacuation to India before the imminent Japanese invasion of the remote Andaman Islands. Shep, a doctor, and Claire, a budding anthropologist, scramble with last-minute tasks while Naila, the thirteen-year-old island girl who has taken on the role of nanny, tends to […]

Seattle Book Review: Glorious Boy

Bound by ambition and a sense of adventure, Claire and Shep Durant journey to the Andaman Islands, a remote part of colonial India, in 1936. They dive deep into their work: Claire, an anthropologist, is studying the language and customs of the Biya tribe; Shep, a surgeon, is collecting orchid specimens, hoping for significant medicinal […]

LARB: Wanting to Turn Back Time: On Aimee Liu’s “Glorious Boy”

ON THE FRONT COVER of Aimee Liu’s Glorious Boy there is a palm-lined cove under a twilight sky. Unspoiled by modernity, this looks like island escapism, with no indication this is a story about wartime. Countless stories have already been told and retold about World War II, but here the setting is unusual — a colonial outpost […]

Asian Review of Books: Glorious Boy by Aimee Liu

Channeling some past classics also skeptical of the colonial enterprise, Glorious Boy stands out from the crowded shelves of World War II literature by immersing the reader in one of the remoter theatres of the Asian half of the War.

Library Journal: Glorious Boy starred review

Liu’s eponymous “glorious boy” exists at the intersection of families, communities, countries, cultures—and, for a while, life and death. His spirited, adventurous parents—Shep, a British doctor obsessed with the healing power of indigenous plants, and the American Claire, a would-be anthropologist without an official degree—arrive in 1936 in the remote Andaman Islands in India’s Bay […]

The Book Slut Reviews Body of Render: Poems by Felicia Zamora

This moving collection of poetry by Felicia Zamora covers a range of topics from love, politics, identity, addiction, and the natural world. On one level, Body of Render explores a political theme—the 2016 election of Donald Trump and the author’s navigation through that event from campaigning to the presidency. But on another, the poems deal […]