Acclaimed as a songwriter, performer, and recording artist, the whirlwind force known as Dessa wears one moniker with particular pride: writer. A Pound of Steam presents seven poems exploring identity and alienation, a philosophical bent that can be found in her song lyrics, but here goes further to unearth truths about the human condition. A Pound of Steam is Dessa’s new collection of poetry, published by Rain Taxi. The 25-page chapbook features seven poems, listed below. The cover, designed by MK Larada and Dessa, is made of black linen paper printed with a metallic silver and embossed to reveal the title.
Dear Sir or Madam
The Letter S.
The Clown’s New Wife
The Bullet Rosette
Praise for Dessa
I love the way Dessa puts words together. In her songs, in her poetry, in her short stories, and now in this beautiful and candid memoir. Wanna be an artist? Get this book.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda
Dessa writes beautifully about a wide range of topics, including science, music, and the pain that comes with being in love; it’s a surprising and generous memoir by a singular voice.
— NPR, Best Books of 2018
Dessa is a rapper, a singer, an essayist, and a proud member of the Doomtree hip-hop crew. She’s performed around the world at opera houses and rock clubs and while standing on barroom tables. She’s landed on the Billboard Top 200 Albums list as a solo artist (Parts of Speech, Chime), as a Doomtree member (All Hands), and as a contributor to The Hamilton Mixtape. As a writer, she’s contributed to the New York Times Magazine, Minnesota Public Radio, the Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Minnesota Monthly, literary journals across the country, and has published two short collections of poetry and essays. She now splits her time between Manhattan, Minneapolis, and a tour van cruising at six miles per hour above the posted limit.