L. Lamar Wilson
Carolina Wren Press, February 2013
Dear Dr. Poetry,
I don’t expect you to understand me, because no one does. My sorrow is darker than a thousand layers of guyliner. I just wanted you, as the foremost expert on poetry, to confirm my isolation—the way my own poetry does.
—Empty Malaise of Towering Woe Encompassing Every Night
Indeed, I don’t understand the nature of your malaise, EMO TWEEN, but like E.L. James authoring a book on how to write, I’ll take a wild stab at it; I’m certain that poetry (other than your own) is just what you need.
As I consider your problems—vast as they are—I’m thinking of L. Lamar Wilson’s debut, Sacrilegion. This young poet blurs the line between personal and public history as a means of reconciling his identity with a society prone to ostracizing, attacking, and trying to change those who are different. He draws not only from his personal struggles—whether as a man of mixed race, a gay man in a conservative town, or a man afflicted with Erb’s Palsy—but also from more global roots. Aretha Franklin, Terrance Hayes, James R. McGovern’s Anatomy of a Lynching, and George Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess are just a small sampling of this book’s diverse influences.