Mistress Cover.jpg

Mistress

$16.00 paper | 80 pages
ISBN: 978-1936970-62-9
Publication Date: October 2019
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2018 New Issues Poetry Prize
Cathy Park Hong, Judge

“From the first poem in Mistress, Chet’la Sebree’s voice gripped me and held on. Sebree’s vision of the persona poem is startling: the narrator is both Sally Hemings and a woman in the present merged to a consciousness un-nesting the ‘holler hidden in her.’ Like Kara Walker’s murals, Sebree runs from—and faces—the dark looming historical forces of miscegenation, enslavement, and the abjection of the black female body. The ghost of Sally Hemings as aberration, as mistress, determines the speaker’s id; tugs at her solitary fantasies; a violent erotic invasion that she inverts and turns on its head with lines etched in rage. Sebree’s language is a scythe that glints wildly. Mistress is truly an astonishing, unforgettable debut.”

—Cathy Park Hong