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“Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib’s THE CROWN AIN’T WORTH MUCH leaves me contemplating the meanings of soul: communal soul (peep the breadth of cultural shout outs), rhythmic soul (peep the breadth of sound and syntax), and spiritual soul (peep the breadth of compassion). As titles like “Ode to Drake, Ending with Blood in a Field” and “At the House Party Where We Found Out Whitney Houston Was Dead” suggest, Willis-Abdurraqib bridges the bravado and bling of praise with the blood and tears of elegy. The soul of this magnificent book is dynamic, distinguished, and when called for, down and dirty. What a fresh, remarkable debut.” — Terrance Hayes, National Book Award winner
Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. He is the editor of Again I Wait For This To Pull Apart, an anthology of poems relating to music, released by Freezeray Press in 2015. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, and The New York Times, and he is currently a columnist at MTV News. He has been nominated for the pushcart prize, and his poem “Hestia” won the 2014 Capital University poetry prize. He is a Callaloo Creative Writing Fellow, an interviewer at Union Station Magazine, and a poetry editor at Muzzle Magazine.