More Than Organs by Kay Ulanday Barrett
Author: Kay Ulanday Barrett
Title: More Than Organs
Library of Congress Control Number: 2019953147
Publication Date: March 12, 2020
Retail Price: $18.00
6 x 9” Paperback; 96 Pages
Distributed by Ingram and Sibling Rivalry Press
Author is available for appearances and interviews
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A love letter to Brown, Queer, and Trans futures, Kay Ulanday Barrett’s More Than Organs questions "whatever wholeness means” for bodies always in transit, for the safeties and dangers they silo. These poems remix people of color as earthbenders, replay “the choreography of loss” after the 2015 Pulse shooting, and till joy from the cosmic sweetness of a family’s culinary history. Barrett works "to build / a shelter // of / everyone / [they] meet,” from aunties to the legendary Princess Urduja to their favorite air sign. More Than Organs tattoos grief across the knuckles of its left hand and love across the knuckles of its right, leaving the reader physically changed by the intensity of experience, longing, strength, desire, and the need, above all else, to survive.
"'What is hunger ... but the carving out of emptiness.' And so in their defiant poetry collection, More Than Organs, Kay Ulanday Barrett excavates and hollows out a queer, trans, brown body to expose, examine, and interrogate the difficulties and heartaches of such existence. What is discovered is forged out of anger, injustice, defiance and love. These shapeshifting poems are insistent and persistent in their brazen attempts at making flesh and whole the undefinable nature of gender, race and physical/social being. I admire their direct honesty, how they rage! And how ultimately 'the body is a letter/folded backward, all strange angles, confessions.'"
-Joseph O. Legaspi, author of Threshold and Imago
"I am so excited for this book, More Than Organs, by Kay Ulanday Barrett, a self-described queer brown Filipinx disabled transgender boi. In observation they are also a poet who through years of work is stepping into the peak of their powers. This well-crafted, necessary, and moving book of poetry is about hunger that is physical, spiritual, and queer. It is also a book that names, makes visible, and feeds those who’ve been erased, made voiceless, misgendered, colonized, and experienced various forms of violence. The poems in this collection are shaped into a song of survival and love. I was struck, too, by the poem dedicated to the victims of Orlando: 'there were boys holding hands with other boys for the first time.' Reading Kay's work, I am reminded of the pioneering and important work of Pat Parker, wry, full of longing, grief, humor, and rage."
-Pamela Sneed, author of Funeral Diva and Imagine Being More Afraid of Freedom Than Slavery
"Kay Ulanday Barrett’s More Than Organs journeys between the worlds of memory and the living, acting as a map that leads the reader into the sacred. Charting the space between 'the kinship of hunger and pain,' poem after poem refuses the reader rest as the lines grapple with tensions erupting from the queerest art of living. Sometimes joy; sometimes grief. Witness loss, legend, survival, betrayal—all canyons and mesas crafted in the topography of the heart—sear with honesty their testament to chronic pain and endurance against a toxic America. What a gift to drink deep these queer, brown, fiercely resisting poems and to crack open your palette. Reader, follow this fearless, vulnerable speaker into the magic and you will 'want to lay down / and just / live in it.'"
-Rajiv Mohabir, author of The Cowherd’s Son and The Taxidermist’s Cut
“Kay’s command of craft, commitment to truth, and dedication to art as service is to be commended. I believe that Kay is an artist o f merit. Kay is all heart. All in. We need Kay’s stories, Kay’s stellar art, Kay’s warrior vision.”
-Sharon Bridgforth, author of love conjure/blues and the Lambda Lit erary Award-winning the bull-jean stories
“These poems are songs–aching, beautiful, necessary songs that transport and transform.”
-Eli Clare, author of Exile and Pride and Brilliant Imperfection: Grappling with Cure
“[Kay’s poetry is] embodied, thick and fluid. Read them with your body and spirit on notice.”
-Alexis Pauline Gumbs, author of Spill: Scenes of Black Feminist Fugitivity and M Archive: After the End of the World
Named one of 9 Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Writers You Should Know by Vogue, KAY ULANDAY BARRETT aka @Brownroundboi is a poet, performer, and cultural strategist. K. has featured at The Lincoln Center, The U.N., Symphony Space, Princeton University, Tucson Poetry Festival, NY Poetry Festival, The Dodge Poetry Foundation, The Hemispheric Institute, and Brooklyn Museum. They are a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Best of the Net Split This Rock 2019 nominee, and a 2019 Queeroes Literary Honoree by Them.+ Condé Nast. They received fellowships and residencies from Lambda Literary Foundation, VONA/Voices, Monson Arts, and Macondo. They have been Guest Editor for Nat.Brut & Guest Faculty for The Poetry Foundation. They have served on boards and committees for the following: The Audre Lorde Project, Transgender Law Center, Sylvia Rivera Law Project, The Leeway Foundation, Res Artis, and the TransJustice Funding Project. Their contributions are found in American Poets, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, Asian American Literary Review, PBS News Hour, Race Forward, NYLON, The Huffington Post, Bitch Magazine, and more. Their first book was When The Chant Comes (Topside Press). More Than Organs (Sibling Rivalry Press) is their second collection. Currently, Kay lives outside of the NYC area with his jowly dog and remixes his mama’s recipes whenever possible.