An “astounding” (Terrance Hayes) debut collection of poems – Winner of the National Poetry Series Competition
In this powerful debut collection, sam sax explores and explodes the linkages between desire, addiction, and the history of mental health. These brave, formally dexterous poems examine antiquated diagnoses and procedures from hysteria to lobotomy; offer meditations on risky sex; and take up the poet’s personal and family histories as mental health patients and practitioners. Ultimately, Madness attempts to build a queer lineage out of inherited language and cultural artifacts; these poems trouble the static categories of sanity, heterosexuality, masculinity, normality, and health. sax’s innovative collection embodies the strange and disjunctive workings of the mind as it grapples to make sense of the world around it.
Praise for sam sax
[A] quick-moving, wide-ranging collection…. [sax’s] poems sparkle and haunt.
— Publisher’s Weekly
[A] beautifully concentrated howl of a book, a startling debut . . . coolly crafted . . . [sax is] refreshingly frank as he speaks out to us. A terrific first collection, highly recommended for poetry lovers.
— Library Journal
About Sam Sax
sam sax is an NEA Fellow and a Fellow at The Michener Center for Writers where he’s the associate poetry editor at Bat City Review. He’s the two time Bay Area Unified Grand Slam Champion + author of… MORE