Build Yourself a Boat

Build Yourself a Boat

A poetic exploration of trauma, healing, and survival from award-winning poet Camonghne Felix."With Build Yourself a Boat, Camonghne Felix heralds a thrillingly new form of storytelling, as much investigation as it is song, as broken as it is doused in genuine strength. These poems are packed with embodiments— not depictions— of black female pain, empowerment, memory, and...

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Title:Build Yourself a Boat
Author:Camonghne Felix
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Edition Language:English

Build Yourself a Boat Reviews

  • Barton Smock

    I didn’t know art could do this. Do these. As in, I didn’t know a vision could project itself as singular and, with that projection, distract its own shape long enough to give periphery a stomach. Camonghne Felix is an asker and a teller. A thinker one rethinks so that one might get the chance to pose the same question a second time. How was fire born? Fire was born plural. Is nostalgia real? The aftermath of origin is real. Can you describe embodiment? Description is alone; description cannot s

    I didn’t know art could do this. Do these. As in, I didn’t know a vision could project itself as singular and, with that projection, distract its own shape long enough to give periphery a stomach. Camonghne Felix is an asker and a teller. A thinker one rethinks so that one might get the chance to pose the same question a second time. How was fire born? Fire was born plural. Is nostalgia real? The aftermath of origin is real. Can you describe embodiment? Description is alone; description cannot swim.

    Not my answers. 'Build Yourself A Boat' is a book that marks its words and comes back for them.

  • Zora Satchell

    I'm still digesting this work. It spoke of hurt and heartbreak in relation to the body that I'm still mulling it over... The manifestation of water, memories, and violence is what is sticking with me the most right now. The footnotes intrigued me and I didn't know how to read them until the letter at the end. Now I'm going back through and rereading each poem with those foot notes to see how they shape the narrative of the poem differently. I LOVE the foot notes.Poets that left me feeling shaky

    I'm still digesting this work. It spoke of hurt and heartbreak in relation to the body that I'm still mulling it over... The manifestation of water, memories, and violence is what is sticking with me the most right now. The footnotes intrigued me and I didn't know how to read them until the letter at the end. Now I'm going back through and rereading each poem with those foot notes to see how they shape the narrative of the poem differently. I LOVE the foot notes.Poets that left me feeling shaky and unsure were clarified. they are my favorite form decision of this work so far. I'm sure I will discover more upon rereading it.

  • Molly Roach

    Wow. I got this book for my birthday and had to dive right in. The way she outlines her trauma and her surviving is so deep and beautiful and I am thankful that she let us into such intimate spaces within her. This was a healing read for me.

  • Bailey

    I consume collections of poetry erratically, and only make it through those that I really connect with. This was one of those special cases. Camonghne Felix's compelling debut drew me in and never let go as I progressed through Build Yourself a Boat. Felix's ability to convey emotion and shape her words so beautifully. She masterfully tackles themes of trauma and healing in this collection that equal parts powerful and evocative.

    I received my copy of Build Yourself a Boat from Haymarket Books vi

    I consume collections of poetry erratically, and only make it through those that I really connect with. This was one of those special cases. Camonghne Felix's compelling debut drew me in and never let go as I progressed through Build Yourself a Boat. Felix's ability to convey emotion and shape her words so beautifully. She masterfully tackles themes of trauma and healing in this collection that equal parts powerful and evocative.

    I received my copy of Build Yourself a Boat from Haymarket Books via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.

  • Rich F

    I was drawn in by the imagery in “Contouring the Flattening” and found the verse journalism pieces “Zimmerman Testimonies: Day [1, 2, 4, 5]” to be absolutely powerful.

  • Roxane

    Excellent poems about trauma, self-harm, race, and womanhood. The poems that experiment with form are really interesting. I love how the footnotes and the final piece come together. Grad poetry.

  • Robyn

    As a white woman, I have nothing to add. Thank you for sharing.

  • Jalisa

    The poems about the Zimmerman trial (Zimmerman Testimonies: Day 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5), Contouring the Flattening and the ending letter connected the most for me. The others will require another reading. I appreciate that the author played with form and structure and forced you to look head on at the pain, self-mutilation, and what remains.

  • Frank Karioris

    "If the they is an us / I make myself an example."

    There are poems in here that strike a chord on a harp.

  • Tara Betts

    I reviewed this book for

    , a Chicago-based arts & entertainment publication. Click the link to read the review.

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