When I picked up a copy of Alexa Patrick's debut book, Remedies for Disappearing, I was instantly captured by her poetic voice! After reading the first few poems of her collection I knew I had found a book to treasure forever.
Remedies for Disappearing begins with a poem titled "Critical missing: for runaways," which beckons the reader to remember the existence of the too often forgotten, neglected, and missing black girl. In this poem she also testifies to her own existence and how she (like all black girls), like time has always existed in this world that seems to be on a single-minded pursuit of her disappearance.
Patrick, throughout this collection, presents to the reader vivid moments from her life and the people who inspired her poems, whether they be her parents, men gathering on street corners, classmates, aunties, and friends. With every poem she gives insight to her experience, the bad and the ugly, and as you read each line you are transported into the narrator's life and by her sharp pen, breathing in someone else's air. I believe that is her remedy, to have the reader fully immersed in her celebration of the existence of the black family, black girlhood, and the black communion.
Alexa Patrick's work in this book is truly inspiring, and her prepossessing voice will stay with you long after you close the book and make you want to return for more!
PS: one of my favorite poems is "Ghost" pg. 68!
A collection of poetry that moves from family history and the heartbreaks of navigating a predominantly white high school into adulthood, exploring the ways the speaker's experiences echo those of an expansive and intricate history of Black girls and women. In this beautiful debut from an exciting new poet, Alexa Patrick's Remedies for Disappearingmemorializes Blackness in its quiet and unexpected forms, bringing the peripheral into focus. These poems muddy Black life and death, observe lineage and love stories, and question what "disappearing" teaches about Blackness and bodies. Remedies for Disappearing is gritty, sharp, and formally inventive, demonstrating Patrick's imaginative curiosity, lyrical restraint, and confidence in her handling of language. Moments of aphoristic confession are balanced with imagistic precision as the speaker recounts the ways her aunties, sisters, and even herself have disappeared in order to survive. Patrick's poetry is haunting and hopeful, striving to provide readers with the tools and context to acknowledge, define, and honor the complexity of Black girl/womanhood. Remedies for Disappearing connects Black girls and women to each other and to their own histories, and insists that they be fully and wholly seen.
About the Author
Alexa Patrick is a poet and vocalist from Connecticut. She is a Cave Canem fellow and Tin House alumna. She has also been cast in the featured role of Unsung in We Shall Not Be Moved, an opera under the direction of Bill T. Jones. You may find Alexa's work published in The Quarry, The Rumpus, CRWN Magazine, and The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 2: Black Girl Magic.