Touched by Luther Hughes
Author: Luther Hughes
Publication Date: 01/30/2018
Retail Price: $12.00
Distributed by Ingram and Sibling Rivalry Press
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I trust Luther Hughes with the body. In Touched, Hughes is careful with it, he handles the body as deliberate and tender as one would a poem. The bodies here, be they black, queer, animal, living, or recovering, are given an authority only possible in poems, and only executed right in the handles of a capable poem. Hughes is more than capable though. Here is the first announcement of a bad one, y’all. And I mean black people bad. Good bad. Bad bad. “When you reached the bladder,/ there was God.” Yep. Hughes said that. I didn’t know I was waiting on someone to say all these things until I opened them up and lived them. And it took living to make these poems. And it is our pleasure to live in them now. “Touched” is only one thing this book will leave you. Let it leave you these ways also: awed, floored, stunned, healed, shaken, still, better, clean, ready to read it again.
- Danez Smith, author of Don’t Call Us Dead
The voice emerging from Luther Hughes’ Touched is unafraid of tenderness and bruise. Every poem in this chapbook collection risks a “madly, meat seething romance” with the past and with home. The bodies central to this work are black boy and holy, at once hunted and denied. I find myself, in encountering that raw in this book, wondering after its dark spaces: “At the end of the day, agony is a mouth.”
- francine j. harris, author of Play Dead
Luther Hughes is a Seattle native. He is the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of the Shade Journal and Associate Poetry Editor for The Offing. He is a Windy City Times Chicago: 30 Under 30 Honoree.