Grown by Claudia Wilson (2019)
“it is time to sing.”
Grown is a gospel, with Claudia Wilson “singing soprano in perfect pitch.” Wilson draws the reader into both the poignant melody and discord of blackness in America, through vivid vignettes and hymn-like prose. This collection is both an ode to homes past and a prayer to move forward from them. Each of Wilson’s poems will echo in the soul long after you read this book. Grown is nothing short of a true triumph.
Praise for Grown
“Claudia Wilson captures the wisdom and tribulation of innocence in these poems with subtly and brilliance. The voice here, a youth at play and too grown for they age at the same time, is laid out that Wilson’s most stunning and gutting moments are volleyed at you while you’re caught up in this chapbooks wit, humor, delicious curiosity and black, jubilant play. The poems here? Cuss ya cousin out kinda good. Grown is maybe one of my favorite chapbooks I’ve come across – brief, brilliant, and surely black.”
-Danez Smith, Author of Don’t Call Us Dead
"Grown is an intentionally paced collection of poems with imagery that leaves readers mid-pulse at every line break. Each poem is weaved into a love song and a declaration. Wilson is careful, honest and edgy. And Grown is a well-crafted black girl hymn. It is not myth, it is fact: Claudia Wilson is beyond our time."
-Porsha Olayiwola, Boston Poet Laurette and Co- Founder of House Slam
“This is a portrait of blackness and growing up assumed that you will become a woman like the women who raised you. It is a church, mired in themes of religion, redemption, betrayal, hurt, want, hunger, desire, survival, and a desperate need to be and become. This book is for anyone who looks at the ‘hood and sees an entire grove of novels unwriting themselves to image, for the hoodrats and college grads, and anyone who enjoys good writing.”
Akeem Rollins, Cleveland Slam Poet and Educator