Content Warning: Everything

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The first book of poems from an acclaimed young author, whose meteoric rise has already landed them on the cover of Time Magazine.

In their bold debut poetry collection, Akwaeke Emezi--award-winning author of Freshwater, PET, The Death of Vivek Oji, and Dear Senthuran--imagines a new depth of belonging. Crafted of both divine and earthly materials, these poems travel from home to homesickness, tracing desire to surrender and abuse to survival, while mapping out a chosen family that includes the son of god, mary auntie, and magdalene with the chestnut eyes. Written from a spiritfirst perspective and celebrating the essence of self that is impossible to drown, kill, or reduce, Content Warning: Everything distills the radiant power and epic grief of a mischievous and wanting young deity, embodied.

About the Author

Akwaeke Emezi (they/them) is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Death of Vivek Oji, which was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Jean Stein Award; Pet, a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, a Walter Honor Book, and a Stonewall Honor Book; Freshwater, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize; and most recently, Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir. Their debut poetry collection, Content Warning: Everything, their debut romance novel, You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, and their next young adult novel, Bitter, are forthcoming in 2022. Selected as a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation, they are based in liminal spaces.

"In their poetry debut, Content Warning: Everything, eye-catching novelist Akwaeke Emezi envisions a self that can't be bent or broken."--Library Journal

"A triumph of selfhood that painstakingly journeys between belief and becoming. Holding tenderness and rage in one breath, the Nigerian-born nonbinary author excavates trauma, divorce and loss without restraint."--New York Times

"From searing inquisitions of the nature of guilt and sin to radical reimaginings of biblical figures, Emezi operates with the ease of a seasoned poet throughout this visionary book."--BookPage

"Moments of incomparable characterization stand out, like the "velvet child upholstered in incoherent rage," often contrasting with the simple pleasures of Emezi's Igbo culture: "the wet fibers from a ripe palm fruit / flat stones cracking the nut inside." Emezi's lyrics radiate raw vulnerability in their exploration of themes of abuse, trauma, mental wellness, and sexuality."--Booklist

"Award-winning author of Freshwater, PET, The Death of Vivek Oji, and Dear Senthuran, Akwaeke Emezi returns with a poetry collection that sounds electrifying. Emezi is one of our favorite writers today and we are lucky enough to get blessed with a poetry collection from them."--She Reads

"Each poem is stunning, and often feels uproarious immediately upon its completion, demanding another read, another look, a step or two back or to the side, to second guess, question, and feel."--North of Oxford

"Emezi's worldbuilding is best expressed when senses collide, as when we observe how 'mary / auntie sighs and a flock of sparrows crashes against my ear' or experience the visceral sensation of a voice, as 'ox bones thrown against the walls / heavy bamboo whistling on / tender calves.'"--Harriet Books, Poetry Foundation

"Akwaeke Emezi continues to astound with their prolific multi-genre, multidisciplinary work."--Shondaland

"Spirit, source, sanctuary."--Ms. Magazine

"Content Warning: Everything deserves its name. Between the first and last pages, my mind became a thunderstorm of questions. What is time? What is being? What is life? What is death, to a god? Each poem presents an experience like lightning. Look: love. Here, pain. See where they connect. At the center of the thunderstorm is stillness. There, clarity is born. If you feel confused and a little unsteady then, congratulations, you're ready to read Akwaeke Emezi."--autostraddle

"Akwaeke Emezi is an award-winning author making a big splash in poetry with this collection. Leading with the spirit, these poems celebrate the parts of ourselves that we cannot kill or reduce. Surrender, abuse, survival, and homesickness are all themes in play in these poems that really do need every content warning imaginable."--Book Riot

Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Pub date: March 01, 2022
64 pages
Format: Paperback