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Distributed for Autumn House Press


 Lyrical poetry offering multilayered examinations of injustices—from mass incarceration to failing schools and right-wing fascism.
Richard Hamilton’s second poetry collection, Discordant, is a searing examination of injustice both within the United States and abroad, from criticisms of the US military-industrial complex and failing healthcare system to multilayered observations of marginalization through the lenses of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Hamilton’s poems look closely at increased austerity measures, commitment to mass incarceration and private prisons, disdain for workers and labor resistance, the expansion of the US military budget, the disappearance of federal subsidies for the working poor, failing schools and teacher shortages, market inflation and price gouging, and the rising tide of right-wing fascism.

Hamilton’s lyrical writing brings together free-form essays and personal narratives full of keen-eyed and urgent observations. Told from the perspective of a speaker who is unemployed and pensive, Hamilton shows how history haunts us while keeping the present in the foreground, constantly challenging oppression that has long been commonplace.

Discordant won the 2022 CAAPP Book Prize, selected by Evie Shockley.

100 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2023


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“The poems of Discordant will haunt you—like a tune that orients your ear to what you weren't attuned to, like a cut that slices through the noisy distractions of the day. Hamilton is chopping up language, rewriting the score on poetic forms, and dissecting our racist-capitalist society at the same time, mixing and mingling the discourses of philosophy, culture, politics, healthcare, labor, and love, until we remember they all occupy and describe the same world. I'm grateful for this piercing, necessary voice.”

Evie Shockley, author of "suddenly we"

Discordant is a clarion call. A genius voyage through the late-twentieth and twenty-first-century American wasteland laid from the fallout of war. A testimony from the forgotten spaces of addiction, poverty, and racism. A dispatch from the shadows of the civil rights movement, where promises that quelled uprisings are daily disintegrating. In the tradition of James Baldwin and Fred Hampton, this poet is fearless in his words. Few understand how to make language unsettle and disrupt as Hamilton does. In so many ways, this book is ‘an essay against forgetting wars, the personal and the political,’ as he writes in his powerful and brilliant long hybrid poem ‘Object.’ The poems are gorgeous. They are also startling, haunting, and gritty. To my mind, this book is a game changer.”

francine j. harris, author of "Here is the Sweet Hand"

"In his new, trenchant collection Discordant, Hamilton brings the fire where and when it is needed, writing poems that startle in their originality, playfulness, and sociopolitical depth and gravitas. If the best poetry provides a way to see the with new, engaged eyes, Discordant does so in poem after poem, and reminds us that Hamilton, an invaluable voice in contemporary Black queer poetry, is one of the freshest and most committed poets writing today."

John Keene, author of "Punks: New and Selected Poems"

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