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Copper Canyon Press

a little bump in the earth by Tyree Daye (Paperback)

a little bump in the earth by Tyree Daye (Paperback)

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Poetry Collection - African American & Black - Subjects & Themes - Family - Death, Grief, Loss - Places


Through invention and remembrance, a little bump in the earth creates a black town on a hill—its land, its losses, its living and ancestral dead.

Tyree Daye’s a little bump in the earth is an act of invention and remembrance. Through sprawling poems, the town of Youngsville, North Carolina, where Daye's family has lived for the last 200 years, is reclaimed as “Ritual House.” Here, “every cousin   aunt   uncle    ghost” is welcome. Daye invokes real and imagined people, the ancestral dead, land, snakes, and chickens, to create a black town on a hill. Including dreams, letters, revised rental agreements, and “a little museum in the here & after,” where collaged images appear besides documents from Daye’s ancestors—census records, marriage licenses, and WWII Draft Registration cards—the collection asks if the past can be a portal to the future, the present a catalyst for the past. a little bump in the earth explores what it means to love someone, someplace, even as it changes, dies right in front of your eyes. Poem by poem, Daye is honoring the people of Youngsville and “bringing back the dead.”


Tyree Daye (he/him) was raised in Youngsville, North Carolina. He is the author of the poetry collections a little bump in the earth (2024), Cardinal (2020), and River Hymns (2017), winner of the APR/Honickman First Book Prize. A Cave Canem fellow and a Palm Beach Poetry Festival Langston Hughes Fellow, Daye is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and a finalist for the Kate Tufts Award. He was the 2019 Diana and Simon Raab Writer-In-Residence at the University of California, Santa Barbara, an Amy Clampitt Residency recipient. Daye is an Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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