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A Fortune for Your Disaster

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In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain't Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It's a book about a mother's death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about f In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain't Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It's a book about a mother's death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about forgiveness, and how none of the author's black friends wanted to listen to "Don't Stop Believin'." It's about wrestling with histories, personal and shared. Abdurraqib uses touchstones from the world outside—from Marvin Gaye to Nikola Tesla to his neighbor's dogs—to create a mirror, inside of which every angle presents a new possibility.


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In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain't Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It's a book about a mother's death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about f In his much-anticipated follow-up to The Crown Ain't Worth Much, poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib has written a book of poems about how one rebuilds oneself after a heartbreak, the kind that renders them a different version of themselves than the one they knew. It's a book about a mother's death, and admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off, about forgiveness, and how none of the author's black friends wanted to listen to "Don't Stop Believin'." It's about wrestling with histories, personal and shared. Abdurraqib uses touchstones from the world outside—from Marvin Gaye to Nikola Tesla to his neighbor's dogs—to create a mirror, inside of which every angle presents a new possibility.

30 review for A Fortune for Your Disaster

  1. 4 out of 5

    jeremy

    hanif abdurraqib's new collection of poetry, a fortune for your disaster is an emotionally-stirring and deeply personal work of grief, sorrow, loss, self-reflection, remembrance, violence, love, death, and heartbreak (romantic and otherwise). the polymathic author casts a wide net, but his precise and unabashed imagery commands an unflinching gaze. with his trademark interpolation of popular culture, hanif's poems can stir your heart almost as easily as they can stop it. an obviously gifted and candid w hanif abdurraqib's new collection of poetry, a fortune for your disaster is an emotionally-stirring and deeply personal work of grief, sorrow, loss, self-reflection, remembrance, violence, love, death, and heartbreak (romantic and otherwise). the polymathic author casts a wide net, but his precise and unabashed imagery commands an unflinching gaze. with his trademark interpolation of popular culture, hanif's poems can stir your heart almost as easily as they can stop it. an obviously gifted and candid writer, hanif's poetry (as well as his prose) maps the connections between the forgotten and the unforgettable. a fortune for your disaster is gritty and graceful, piercing and profound. it's not like nikola tesla knew all of those people were going to die everyone wants to write about god but no one wants to imagine their god as the finger trembling inside a grenade pin's ring or the red vine of blood coughed into a child's palm while they cradle the head of a dying parent. few things are more dangerous than a man who is capable of dividing himself into several men, each of them with a unique river of desire on their tongues. it is also magic to pray for a daughter and find yourself with an endless march of boys who all have the smile of a motherfucker who wronged you and never apologized. no one wants to imagine their god as the knuckles cracking on a father watching their son picking a good switch from the tree and certainly no one wants to imagine their god as the tree. enough with the foolishness of hope and how it bruises the walls of a home where two people sit, stubbornly in love with the idea of staying. if one must pray, i imagine it is most worthwhile to pray towards endings. the only difference between sunsets and funerals is whether or not a town mistakes the howls of a crying woman for madness.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paris (parisperusing)

    3.5/5. I'm still fresh on Hanif's approach to poetry, though I really enjoyed quite a few of these — "It Is Once Again the Summer of My Discontent & This Is How We Do It," "Watching A Fight At the New Haven Dog Park, First Two Dogs and Then Their Owners," "The Ghost of Marvin Gaye Plays the Dozens With the Pop Charts," "I Tend to Think Forgiveness Looks the Way It Does In Movies," and "Welcome to Heartbreak." I love the way Hanif leans into the experience of heartbreak, 3.5/5. I'm still fresh on Hanif's approach to poetry, though I really enjoyed quite a few of these — "It Is Once Again the Summer of My Discontent & This Is How We Do It," "Watching A Fight At the New Haven Dog Park, First Two Dogs and Then Their Owners," "The Ghost of Marvin Gaye Plays the Dozens With the Pop Charts," "I Tend to Think Forgiveness Looks the Way It Does In Movies," and "Welcome to Heartbreak." I love the way Hanif leans into the experience of heartbreak, death, and mourning, and how perceptive he is of his surroundings and how meaning can be drawn from even banal happenings of the day ("Watching A Fight," for example, illustrates this with haunting detail). Collectively, however, I wasn't entirely taken with the poems here. Hanif has a charming style, that's for certain, but there seemed to be a lack of congruence. Thanks, Tin House, for supplying me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dre

    Reading A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib was engaging, cathartic, and soul-stirring all at the same time. These poems will haunt you, leave you deep in thought long after you’ve finished reading. They will sit with you like a recently-found, long-lost friend who has no intentions of leaving anytime soon. And I think it’s necessary. So often we want to push tragedy and sadness out of our hearts and minds, using any catalyst for comfort we can conjure up. These poems trigger us, mak Reading A Fortune for Your Disaster by Hanif Abdurraqib was engaging, cathartic, and soul-stirring all at the same time. These poems will haunt you, leave you deep in thought long after you’ve finished reading. They will sit with you like a recently-found, long-lost friend who has no intentions of leaving anytime soon. And I think it’s necessary. So often we want to push tragedy and sadness out of our hearts and minds, using any catalyst for comfort we can conjure up. These poems trigger us, make us remember, make us mourn, then challenge us to carry on. Thank you to Tin House Books and Netgalley for an ARC of this beautifully heart-breaking collection of poetry in exchange for an honest review. I will share more about this book closer to the release date.

  4. 4 out of 5

    David

    First I read it through. Then I re-read all the poems with the title "How Can Black People Write About Flowers At a Time Like This" (I counted 12). Then I re-read all the poems with "The Ghost of Marvin Gaye" in the title (7). Then I re-read all the poems with the title "It's Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All Those People Were Going to Die" (3). Then I re-read the two poems entitled "I Tend to Think Forgiveness Looks the Way It Does in the Movies." Then I re-read all the poems that had non-repeatin First I read it through. Then I re-read all the poems with the title "How Can Black People Write About Flowers At a Time Like This" (I counted 12). Then I re-read all the poems with "The Ghost of Marvin Gaye" in the title (7). Then I re-read all the poems with the title "It's Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All Those People Were Going to Die" (3). Then I re-read the two poems entitled "I Tend to Think Forgiveness Looks the Way It Does in the Movies." Then I re-read all the poems that had non-repeating titles, only this time from the back to the front (I don't know why I did it that way). There are also two (or maybe three) poems entitled "The Prestige" which open and close the book, so I read those a bunch of times as well. I got this book from the library, but I may have to go buy a copy so I can keep reading it whenever I want to. The author is from Columbus, Ohio, but I haven't met him yet. Somehow his readings always seem to happen when I'm out of town. Hope that won't keep happening, as I'd like to hear him read these!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Hanif Abdurraqib’s writing never fails to move me, puzzle me, and make me think. I tried to pace myself through this poetry collection, focusing and contemplating, but taking breaks to let it sink in. The poems in this collection are heavy, exploring topics like loss, grief, loneliness, and how mourning can bring us together and eventually lead to celebration and moving forward. Some of these are hard to read, and there’s emotion on every page. Abdurraqib has done an amazin Hanif Abdurraqib’s writing never fails to move me, puzzle me, and make me think. I tried to pace myself through this poetry collection, focusing and contemplating, but taking breaks to let it sink in. The poems in this collection are heavy, exploring topics like loss, grief, loneliness, and how mourning can bring us together and eventually lead to celebration and moving forward. Some of these are hard to read, and there’s emotion on every page. Abdurraqib has done an amazing job as usual 👏👏👏

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Hoefer

    I do not know how Hanif Abdurraqib does it. Everytime. These poems beat out the already amazing poems from The Crown Ain't Worth Much.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tiana Reid

    breathless

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor Roth

    I'm a new but big fan of Hanif Abdurraqib's work, both as a poet and essayist. This collection is refreshing, deeply feeling, and unflinching, and his performance of it *finger kisses* I found myself replaying sections and following along in my digital copy (thank you, NetGalley and Tin House, for that!) - because they were so beautiful and precise and needed to be appreciated slowly. These poems are graceful and gritty in equal measure, often somehow at the same time. I appreciated the number o I'm a new but big fan of Hanif Abdurraqib's work, both as a poet and essayist. This collection is refreshing, deeply feeling, and unflinching, and his performance of it *finger kisses* I found myself replaying sections and following along in my digital copy (thank you, NetGalley and Tin House, for that!) - because they were so beautiful and precise and needed to be appreciated slowly. These poems are graceful and gritty in equal measure, often somehow at the same time. I appreciated the number of poems that shared titles, watching Abdurraqib return to central themes and images and questions and people, like a true artist wrestling with the different things they mean and the different answers they might be given. In that way, the collection feels truly like a collection, they can of course be read and appreciated apart, but they tell such a story and journey when considered together. I'm sure I'll be rereading these for awhile and continuing to revel in new moments and turns of phrase I missed the first few times I read them.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kokie

    Will one ever be "done" reading poetry like this? I'm still reeling. It is, at once, completely readable, nothing short of genius, and deeper than I think I have the capacity to understand at any given moment. The way Abdurraqib fashions words together and carefully sets them on the page is a thing of pure beauty. I want to start my *first* re-read now. To try to understand better the man behind the words. To fall again for the music of his phrases. To see him spark his mag Will one ever be "done" reading poetry like this? I'm still reeling. It is, at once, completely readable, nothing short of genius, and deeper than I think I have the capacity to understand at any given moment. The way Abdurraqib fashions words together and carefully sets them on the page is a thing of pure beauty. I want to start my *first* re-read now. To try to understand better the man behind the words. To fall again for the music of his phrases. To see him spark his magic.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Krein

    there were phrasings and ideas in this book that absolutely devastated me; more than any book should.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Billy

    Hanif Abdurraqib demonstrates a wide range of influences in A Fortune for Your Disaster, which takes its title from Fall Out Boy song lyrics, with poems that weave together Nikola Tesla, Christopher Nolan's film The Prestige, the ghost of Marvin Gaye, and song lyrics from artists including Kanye West, Drake, and Bruce Springsteen. Abdurraqib is able to synthesize these elements and more to create extraordinary poems that offer profound meditations on violence, death, and heartbreak.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Scott

    Visceral poetry focused on grief and anger. You can feel the loss in his poetry. There is a need to feel something, anything, that comes after grief. Even if it means to stare down an enemy or hoping two people get into a fight in a dog park. The need to feel something real is palpable. It's a book on grief and desperation. It is a need for human contact after a loss. OTES FROM A Fortune for Your Disaster Hanif Abdurraqib September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 10 Imagin Visceral poetry focused on grief and anger. You can feel the loss in his poetry. There is a need to feel something, anything, that comes after grief. Even if it means to stare down an enemy or hoping two people get into a fight in a dog park. The need to feel something real is palpable. It's a book on grief and desperation. It is a need for human contact after a loss. OTES FROM A Fortune for Your Disaster Hanif Abdurraqib September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 10 Imagine, instead: the place where you have a bed of your own & a table to sit across from someone who laughs thick & echoing at your smallest joy as an open palm & then the fingers close September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 15 If one must pray, I imagine it is most worthwhile to pray towards endings. The only difference between sunsets and funerals is whether or not a town mistakes the howls of a crying woman for madness. September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 19 my pal died not when pill bottle rolled empty from his unfurling palm. It was sometime after that, when I told his old girlfriend September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 26 & I imagine this is no longer over cheese but over every mode of unfulfilled promise. September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 3 when my heartbreak was a different animal howling at the same clouds September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 3 there is intimacy in the moment where the eyes of two enemies meet. there is a tenderness in knowing what desire ties you to a person, even if you have spent your dreaming hours cutting them a casket from the tree in their mother’s front yard. it is a blessing to know someone wants a funeral for you September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 3 not everything is Sisyphean. no one ever wants to imagine themselves as the boulder. September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 5 when the stakes are most violent I suppose we all become what we resemble most & September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 5 I feel guilty when I start to hope that the dog owners throw a punch at each other just so I can remember what it looks like when a fist determines its own destiny & September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 6 am getting too old & I want only a good dog most days & I’m saying I want a dog that will never ask me to finish something it started & I’m saying I want a dog that will never make me clean its blood out of the streets. September 10, 2019The Pledge, p. 10 I wish this type of betrayal on no one: being born out of that which will be your undoing. September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 11 I am talking about the end of love—how the door closes one night & never re-opens. The coffee mug left with a lover’s unshakable stains in the bottom & the single fork from the infant night in the first shared apartment & all of the relics we have to craft the leash used to keep our misery close September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 13 the difference between a warning & a threat is all a matter of what you’ve lived through September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 18 Everyone who thinks of death as peaceful place is still alive September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 25 I am sorry that there is no way to describe this that is not about agony or that is not about someone being torn from the perch of their comfort & on the same night a year before my mother died Jordan wept on the floor of the United Center locker room after winning another title because it was father’s day & his father went to sleep on the side of a road in ’93 & woke up a ghost & there is no moment worth falling to our knees & galloping towards like the one that sings our dead into the architecture & so yes for a moment in 1998 Michael Jordan made what space he could on the path between him & his father’s small & breathing grace September 11, 2019The Pledge, p. 27 Only thing that separates purgatory and hell is whether or not you can see the face of someone you’ve loved in the fire, September 11, 2019The Turn, p. 44 and it is really something to love only the unseen and still be finite September 11, 2019The Turn, p. 54 is it that memory is a field with endless graves September 11, 2019The Turn, p. 57 Here, finally, a country worth living in. One that falls thick from whatever it is we love so much that we can’t stop letting it kill us. If we must die, let it be inside here. If we must. September 14, 2019The Turn, p. 60 it is impossible to know what you’d kill for until you hold a face in your two hands underneath a streetlight on a block where killing pays the rent. where, as a boy, September 11, 2019The Turn, p. 43 is that i cling to the past because in it, i had yet to know pain September 11, 2019The Turn, p. 55 It is impossible to tell your saints from your sinners when a fistful of dollar bills descends on a room. It is September 11, 2019The Turn, p. 55 Loneliness is the drug from which all other drugs obtain their architecture September 11, 2019The Turn, p. 57 I want, mostly, a year that will not kill me when it is over. September 13, 2019The Turn, p. 59 all of my idols died September 15, 2019The Prestige, p. 77 I can tell Magic from science by whether or not there is a body in the casket. WHAT September 15, 2019The Prestige, p. 84 bring to me your palms overflowing with the production of your most intemperate anguish & i promise there is no target i will not stand in front of for you. there is no wood that could fashion a cross to hold me. September 15, 2019The Prestige, p. 91 love is not the drug itself but is the fluorescent palm which splits the earth in the name of its blooming. not the drug, but the object so beautiful it demands to be stitched into something which the body can consume. September 15, 2019The Prestige, p. 91 may even the residue of our love find a curve of wind to dance an echo into. THE September 14, 2019The Prestige, p. 71 I mean those of us who have reached for a song & pulled back a coffin All Excerpts From Abdurraqib, Hanif. “A Fortune for Your Disaster.” Tin House Books, 2019-04-24. Apple Books. This material may be protected by copyright.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    4 stars Abdurraqib has a very distinct voice in his poems. I really liked the conversational style he has with the reader, breaking the fourth wall at times (does that phrase even make sense in the context of poetry? Idk, but I'm using it anyway). There are some staggeringly sharp lines in these poems. A few examples: "not everything is Sisyphean. no one ever wants to imagine themselves as the boulder." -It is Once Again the Summer of My Discontent & this is How We Do I 4 stars Abdurraqib has a very distinct voice in his poems. I really liked the conversational style he has with the reader, breaking the fourth wall at times (does that phrase even make sense in the context of poetry? Idk, but I'm using it anyway). There are some staggeringly sharp lines in these poems. A few examples: "not everything is Sisyphean. no one ever wants to imagine themselves as the boulder." -It is Once Again the Summer of My Discontent & this is How We Do It (Can we talk about that title, too?? There are some A+ titles in this collection) "Loneliness is the drug from which all other drugs obtain their architecture." -It's Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All of Those People were Going to Die #2 I kind of loved the recurring titles and how he interpreted them differently each time. There were other instances of repetition that weren't as effective for me--words and phrases that popped up again and again but repeatedly hit the same notes. It kind of reminded me of Emily Skaja's collection, Brute: Poems, because she also repeats words & phrases throughout her poems, but I think she was more effective in drawing fresh meanings from them in each individual poem. I was fully cognizant of the specificity of my life experience while reading these poems because certain references registered for me and others went over my head. Ex: Gram Parsons vs. Marvin Gaye. As it happens, the Gram Parsons poem really worked for me, and I think it would work for anyone because he does a better job of sharing specific details of Parsons' backstory than he does in the Marvin Gaye poems. So I guess that's where I land on allusions... they're more effective if you're giving proper context to the reader. See also: every poem ever about Greek mythology (this is my hobbyhorse). Poems don't have to be accessible, but it is nice when they are. On that note, I just learned from another Goodreads review that the title of the collection is actually a Fall Out Boy reference, which explains so much! There were times in this collection where I felt distanced as the reader, but overall I really enjoyed it. There's a persistent vibe of dark humor that resonated with me. Definitely a worthwhile read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luke Gorham

    Yeah, this is amazing. If one must pray, I imagine It is most worthwhile to pray toward endings. The only difference between sunsets and funerals is whether or not a town mistakes the howls of a crying woman for madness. - from "It's Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All of Those People Were Going to Die" Mercy, like the boy pulling back a fist as the small stray dog below him trembles with its eyes shut. Mercy, that boy then walking into the arms of this mother, Mercy,/>If Yeah, this is amazing. If one must pray, I imagine It is most worthwhile to pray toward endings. The only difference between sunsets and funerals is whether or not a town mistakes the howls of a crying woman for madness. - from "It's Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All of Those People Were Going to Die" Mercy, like the boy pulling back a fist as the small stray dog below him trembles with its eyes shut. Mercy, that boy then walking into the arms of this mother, who once dragged him from a home ransacked by a man's violence. Mercy, the city unfolding its wide & generous palms over your skin the way a city does when it opens itself up & darkness to pour into its open mouth & you, too, wait for the night to spill itself into your echoing terraces of grief & call you outside & tell you that it is almost your season, darling. - from "I Tend to Think Forgiveness Looks the Way It Does in the Movies" Tesla said there are not great inventions made by married men but then how do you explain the way the space in between bodies in a shared bed can feel like an entire country? I'm saying that all inventions come at the cost of a room becoming something different than it was. a boy who imagines himself alone falls from an abandoned skyscraper & halves the sky & there is nothing up there that will hold any of us together & darling I think I've got it - I can tell Magic from science by whether or not there is a body in the casket. - from "It's Not Like Nikola Tesla Knew All of Those People Were Going to Die" (#3)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Is the best thing about poetry books how you can read them backwards? No. (Though that is nice.) The best thing about poetry books is finding someone who speaks your language, who revels in the same source material, the same melodic progressions as you; who can make you feel—for lines or pages at a time—like your preoccupations and obsessions are other people’s. Like your weird lonely brain places aren’t actually population: 1. Like your ugliest convictions also deserve the light. Is the best thing about poetry books how you can read them backwards? No. (Though that is nice.) The best thing about poetry books is finding someone who speaks your language, who revels in the same source material, the same melodic progressions as you; who can make you feel—for lines or pages at a time—like your preoccupations and obsessions are other people’s. Like your weird lonely brain places aren’t actually population: 1. Like your ugliest convictions also deserve the light. 🗯 In A FORTUNE FOR YOUR DISASTER, Hanif Abdurraqib writes primarily about heartbreak, but also about people living inside of songs, and what it means to leave a place that has its teeth in you and what it means to return, and what it is when the thing with teeth is a person or a country, a memory or a song. 🗯 The best poetry is like being on really good drugs, the kind that crack open your gates and fill you with a power like the unknowable sensation of running across a water’s surface. Hanif’s poems are that for me: a conduit to emotion and the freedom of gracelessness forgiven. 🗯 What a gift that is, to feel high, and loved, and free, all thanks to typeset on a page. And what a gift given. Thanks to Hanif Abdurraqib and @tin_house for the gift (& @netgalley for approving my ARC request...after I managed to snag this at #ALAac19). I couldn’t pre-order this fast enough.

  16. 5 out of 5

    CherryErich

    I didn't think the themes of "The Crown Ain't Worth Much" could be topped, but here I am, telling you that they were. Within a week I think I read this about 5 times, in so many different ways. There's at least 10 separate poems titled, "How Can Black People Write About Flowers at a Time Like This" a few telling a continuous story of The Ghost of Marvin Gaye, and a smaller number about Nikola Tesla. Without going into the content of each poem, the resurgence of the poems as the book continues cr I didn't think the themes of "The Crown Ain't Worth Much" could be topped, but here I am, telling you that they were. Within a week I think I read this about 5 times, in so many different ways. There's at least 10 separate poems titled, "How Can Black People Write About Flowers at a Time Like This" a few telling a continuous story of The Ghost of Marvin Gaye, and a smaller number about Nikola Tesla. Without going into the content of each poem, the resurgence of the poems as the book continues creates this feeling of stability, even if the poems themselves typically are very turbulent in both format and content. The Ghost of Marvin Gaye and Nikola Tesla act as recurring characters throughout the book. Many of the poems throughout the book stand very well on their own as well. They still provide so much to the sense of narrative, but even if you just open up to a random page and read a poem, you will still extract a powerful message.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    This is a gorgeous, finely wrought collection that, just like all Hanif’s other work, touches on a multitude of themes and topics: music, pop culture, history, blackness, violence, religion, and so much more. The recurring poems/titles create a sort of cycle that you follow as you read, all coming full circle with beautiful symmetry. The true power of his poetry are the lines that knock you right out, that wash over you, that you want to just re-read over and over to get the first time feeling a This is a gorgeous, finely wrought collection that, just like all Hanif’s other work, touches on a multitude of themes and topics: music, pop culture, history, blackness, violence, religion, and so much more. The recurring poems/titles create a sort of cycle that you follow as you read, all coming full circle with beautiful symmetry. The true power of his poetry are the lines that knock you right out, that wash over you, that you want to just re-read over and over to get the first time feeling again. There is such an easy flow to his work that makes it so easy to get lost in. I’ve said it before, but between his nonfiction and poetry, Hanif is far and away my favorite working writer. Anyone who hasn’t started reading him should start, like, yesterday.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Matt Glaviano

    The book of Abdurraqib's I've enjoyed the least. I just couldn't dig into it. There were moments where the writing grabbed me, but overall... I don't know, I felt like I was sliding down the surface. The repetition of the poems and themes didn't work for me. I'm well aware at this point in my "career" as a reader that often my reaction to the book has more to do with where I'm at in my life -- especially emotionally -- than the book itself. There's a number of book I've read in the last few mont The book of Abdurraqib's I've enjoyed the least. I just couldn't dig into it. There were moments where the writing grabbed me, but overall... I don't know, I felt like I was sliding down the surface. The repetition of the poems and themes didn't work for me. I'm well aware at this point in my "career" as a reader that often my reaction to the book has more to do with where I'm at in my life -- especially emotionally -- than the book itself. There's a number of book I've read in the last few months that have seemed interminable -- I feel like I've been using the word "slog" a lot. I don't know -- my faith in reading is slipping right now, I guess. It -- and, by extension, this book (Sorry, Hanif) -- isn't doing it for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jake Harris

    Reading this from start to finish the day Amber Guyger was convicted for murder in the death of Botham Jean felt...not right, but appropriate. And cathartic. So much of Abdurraqib’s work deals with the pain and death of black bodies in America. These poems search for the meaning behind tragedy and heartbreak and look for the happiness that can be found in the most mundane moments. His talent for dialing down into the specifics from a wide topic, and vice versa, is on full display here. I’ll go b Reading this from start to finish the day Amber Guyger was convicted for murder in the death of Botham Jean felt...not right, but appropriate. And cathartic. So much of Abdurraqib’s work deals with the pain and death of black bodies in America. These poems search for the meaning behind tragedy and heartbreak and look for the happiness that can be found in the most mundane moments. His talent for dialing down into the specifics from a wide topic, and vice versa, is on full display here. I’ll go back to theee again and again, especially “If Life Is As Short As Our Ancestors Insist It Is, Why Isn’t Everything I Want Already At My Feet.” “Imagine that anything can become us.”

  20. 4 out of 5

    Caleb Masters

    Like so much of Hanif Abdurraqib’s writing, his latest poetry collection, A Fortune for Your Disaster, is an engaging work of cultural mash-ups, intersectionality, and personal reflection. From the ghost of Marvin Gaye, The Prestige, “No Diggity”, Nikolai Tesla, and Abdurraqib’s own lived experience; each of the poems in this tightly constructed collection build on each other creating something truly transformative and unique. A Fortune for Your Disaster is a fresh, challenging collection of poems about personal myth-mak Like so much of Hanif Abdurraqib’s writing, his latest poetry collection, A Fortune for Your Disaster, is an engaging work of cultural mash-ups, intersectionality, and personal reflection. From the ghost of Marvin Gaye, The Prestige, “No Diggity”, Nikolai Tesla, and Abdurraqib’s own lived experience; each of the poems in this tightly constructed collection build on each other creating something truly transformative and unique. A Fortune for Your Disaster is a fresh, challenging collection of poems about personal myth-making and identity, told with great humor and emotion. I’ll definitely be revisiting these poems again.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Steve G

    If you’re familiar with Hanif’s work, “A Fortune...” will feel right. The way he sets up the anthology is not only disparate pieces but a leveraged structure from a well known movie. It’s both fun and effective. Each time I read is work I’m challenged, heavy hearted, and with the last few pieces here, encouraged. Must read if you’re a fan of Hanif’s or a fan of reading what lay out to be effectively ethnographies of the Black / African American experience in far and recent past, and present.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This collection wasn't for me, so it didn't speak to all of the deepest parts of me Hanif's work usually does. I'll still give any money I can so he can keep creating words for others to read. I forgot how hard it is to read poetry. I've been reading novels for awhile, so i was unaccostomed to having to sit with works and let them move around inside me. This is not a critique of the collection, but a critique of myself (something at which i'm all too skilled).

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is the sort of book that makes you want to write poetry and then feel bad about yourself because yours isn't as good. This is the sort of book where you start off writing down quotes and end up taking pictures of entire pages because otherwise you would be copying down the entire poem. Deep and emotional and frequently uncomfortable in a good way.

  24. 5 out of 5

    (a)lyss(a)

    I received a copy of this book through the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review. This book was bigger than I expected and full of a variety of poems. Talking about race and growth and trauma there are both long and short poems that tell a variety of stories. Overall an interesting collection that's worth reading.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    Abdurraqib’s latest collection of poems covers heartbreak using cultural and historical touchstones to create a mirror. Violence, forgiveness, and racial identity all play key roles in the thematic flow.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Theleem

    This book contains all of the honesty and passion as Abdurraqib’s first collection, though I believe that his message gets a little to shrouded in personal/vague symbolism here at times. I still loved it, I just felt that the immediacy of his early work was occasionally missing this time around.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Gregory

    It's not like Nikola Tesla knew all of those people were going to die. Hanif hits another one outta the park in the same year. One of our best living writers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mugren Ohaly

    Terrible

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    I do not recommend this as an audiobook for a commute. It's something you have to sit with, think about, reread at your own pace. I wish I had a paper copy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Clint Morin

    If Hanif is capable of writing something bad I’ve yet to read it. Every piece is beautiful and heart-wrenching simultaneously.

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