Here is the Sweet Hand: Book summary and reviews of Here is the Sweet Hand by francine j. harris

Here is the Sweet Hand

Poems

by francine j. harris

Here is the Sweet Hand by francine j. harris X
Here is the Sweet Hand by francine j. harris
Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

The poems in Here is the Sweet Hand explore solitude as a way of seeing. In particular, the speakers in francine j. harris' third collection explore the mystique, and myth, of female loneliness as it relates to blackness, aging, landscape and artistic tradition.

The speakers in these poems are often protagonists. Against the backdrop of numerous American cities and towns, and in a time of political uncertainty, they are heroines in their quest to find logic through their own sense of the world.

The poems here are interested in the power of observation. But if there is authority in the individual versus the collective, Here is the Sweet Hand also poses questions about the source of that power, or where it may lead.

As in her acclaimed previous collections, harris' skillful use of imagery and experimentation with the boundaries of language set the stage for unorthodox election commemoration, subway panic, zoomorphism, and linguistic battlefields. From poems in dialogue with the artistry of Toni Morrison and Charles Burnett to poems that wrestle with the moods of Frank Stanford and Ty Dolla $ign, the speakers in this book signal a turn at once inward and opening.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Book Awards

  • award image National Book Critics Circle Award, 2020

Reviews

Media Reviews

"With poems that pant, keen, and rumble, harris offers a fresh and dazzling third collection. The poet's subjects are difficult and necessary ... These are poems of solitude and full-throated coupling, of nonhuman and extraterrestrial phenomena ... But no list of topics or themes can capture the erotic heat, imaginative breadth, and syntactical daring of this poet's voice.'" - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Entering mid-career with her extraordinary third book, harris ... fully emerges as one of the best and most relevant contemporary poets. She writes with a historical and linguistic reach ... She is also in league with some of the great practitioners of poetry that makes no distinction between the personal and the political, such as Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Hayden, and Adrienne Rich." - NPR

"harris reveals one of the roles of the contemporary poet: to expose unpleasant truths of the past and present, to call out the aspects of our worst selves ... harris is an expert practitioner and guide; we are always in her orbit, captivated as she manipulates language, un-doing worn traditions, engaging the reader intimately, and unforgettably." - Chicago Review of Books

"Some of the poems are so full of heat, so pressing, that you'll hold your breath until the last line." - goop

"This is a book full of 'heat,' of being beneath and being above, of desire, neighbors, the news, the horrors of systemic racism played out in a 19th-century orphanage and a shooting on a train ― all presented without the censoring influence of traditional continuity ... there is no point in questioning Here Is the Sweet Hand. It is better to let her voice be the center and take pleasure in change." - Lambda Literary

"harris's poems teem with emotion, but there's a control to her lines that feels so clever ... harris is original in syntax and rhythm: the poems in this collection never play quite the same song, as if their form keeps us active and alert." - The Millions

"[harris] injects her work with lyrical strength that is poignant and powerful." - Ms. Magazine

This information about Here is the Sweet Hand was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

francine j. harris

francine j. harris is the author of play dead, winner of the Lambda Literary and Audre Lorde Awards and a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Her first collection, allegiance, was a finalist for the Kate Tufts Discovery and PEN Open Book Awards. Originally from Detroit, she has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the MacDowell Colony, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. She is an associate professor of English at the University of Houston.

More Author Information

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more poetry & novels in verse...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...
  • Book Jacket: Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    Now Is Not the Time to Panic
    by Kevin Wilson
    The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Family Izquierdo
    by Rubén Degollado

    A masterful debut that weaves together the lives of three generations of a Mexican American family bound by love, and a curse.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Who Said...

Beliefs are what divide people. Doubt unites them

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.