Cicely Belle Blain's Burning Sugar excerpted by Xtra
Burning Sugar is the second title published under Vivek Shraya's VS. Books imprint, dedicated to new and emerging BIPOC writers. The first, Tea Mutonji's Shut Up You're Pretty, won the 2020 Trillium Book Award.
Burning Sugar is a deeply felt poetic exploration of Black identity, history, and lived experience influenced by the constant search for liberation. Of the book, Amber Dawn writes: "Burning Sugar is a vigilant time marker and vivid place maker. The bearings of colonial violence and of Black resistance are physically present on every page of this debut collection by Cicely Belle Blain. From "the air [that] smelled like violence" to the poet's own "stretch marks [that] show this body holds the weight of a thousand lives," these poems ask us not only to witness, but to implicitly and accountably feel."
You can read the excerpt here.