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The Kissing of Kissing

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In this remarkable debut, which marks the beginning of Multiverse—a literary series written and curated by the neurodivergent—Hannah Emerson’s poems keep, dream, bring, please, grownd, sing, kiss, and listen. They move with and within the beautiful nothing (“of buzzing light”) from which, as she elaborates, everything jumps. In language that is both bracingly new and embrac In this remarkable debut, which marks the beginning of Multiverse—a literary series written and curated by the neurodivergent—Hannah Emerson’s poems keep, dream, bring, please, grownd, sing, kiss, and listen. They move with and within the beautiful nothing (“of buzzing light”) from which, as she elaborates, everything jumps. In language that is both bracingly new and embracingly intimate, Emerson invites us to “dive down to the beautiful muck that helps you get that the world was made from the garbage at the bottom of the universe that was boiling over with joy that wanted to become you you you yes yes yes.” These poems are encounters—animal, vegetal, elemental—that form the markings of an irresistible future. And The Kissing of Kissing makes joyously clear how this future, which can sometimes seem light-years away, is actually as close, as near, as each immersive now. It finds breath in the woods and the words and the worlds we share, together “becoming burst becoming / the waking dream.” With this book, Emerson, a nonspeaking autistic poet, generously invites you, the reader, to meet yourself anew, again, “to bring your beautiful nothing” into the light.


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In this remarkable debut, which marks the beginning of Multiverse—a literary series written and curated by the neurodivergent—Hannah Emerson’s poems keep, dream, bring, please, grownd, sing, kiss, and listen. They move with and within the beautiful nothing (“of buzzing light”) from which, as she elaborates, everything jumps. In language that is both bracingly new and embrac In this remarkable debut, which marks the beginning of Multiverse—a literary series written and curated by the neurodivergent—Hannah Emerson’s poems keep, dream, bring, please, grownd, sing, kiss, and listen. They move with and within the beautiful nothing (“of buzzing light”) from which, as she elaborates, everything jumps. In language that is both bracingly new and embracingly intimate, Emerson invites us to “dive down to the beautiful muck that helps you get that the world was made from the garbage at the bottom of the universe that was boiling over with joy that wanted to become you you you yes yes yes.” These poems are encounters—animal, vegetal, elemental—that form the markings of an irresistible future. And The Kissing of Kissing makes joyously clear how this future, which can sometimes seem light-years away, is actually as close, as near, as each immersive now. It finds breath in the woods and the words and the worlds we share, together “becoming burst becoming / the waking dream.” With this book, Emerson, a nonspeaking autistic poet, generously invites you, the reader, to meet yourself anew, again, “to bring your beautiful nothing” into the light.

43 review for The Kissing of Kissing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    3.5 stars rounded up Effervescent, searing, and sometimes pointed, The Kissing of Kissing is a debut poetry collection from a nonspeaking autistic poet. At their best, the poems embrace the vitality of the natural world, share the experience of being dehumanized by others, the anger and struggles that can come with life, but also deep love for family, humanity, and nature. That said, there are other pieces that I found difficult to parse and less accessible for the casual reader of poetry. There i 3.5 stars rounded up Effervescent, searing, and sometimes pointed, The Kissing of Kissing is a debut poetry collection from a nonspeaking autistic poet. At their best, the poems embrace the vitality of the natural world, share the experience of being dehumanized by others, the anger and struggles that can come with life, but also deep love for family, humanity, and nature. That said, there are other pieces that I found difficult to parse and less accessible for the casual reader of poetry. There is a lot of word repetition "yes, yes, yes" "great, great, great" etc. which takes time to get used to and sometimes skip over in reading. And the placement of line breaks often requires more effort from the reader to figure out where sentences or thoughts begin and end. Ultimately this was a mixed bag for me, but there are moments where it really shines. I received an advance copy of this book for review from the publisher, all opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cavar Sarah

    Oh. Oh. Oh. YES. This is a breathtaking collection. RTC. But like, preorder this baby now (pubs in March). This is truly a spectacular accomplishment.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    Yes yes. Please. Kissing. A non-speaking autistic poet, Hannah Emerson, shares her poetry in this collection. Many of the poems are rooted in the natural world. I found a lot of it inaccessible to me as a novice poetry reader due to the structure and repetitive wording.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    The style was intriguing and there were a few lines that stood out, but I found this collection difficult to access. It became easier as I fell into the flow and began to recognize the pattern of repeated words I could essentially skip over, but that took until I was well past the halfway mark. I'll likely read this again to get more out of it. The style was intriguing and there were a few lines that stood out, but I found this collection difficult to access. It became easier as I fell into the flow and began to recognize the pattern of repeated words I could essentially skip over, but that took until I was well past the halfway mark. I'll likely read this again to get more out of it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    Thank you Milkweed for this gifted copy of THE KISSING OF KISSING by Hannah Emerson, a nonspeaking autistic artist and poet ❤️ This collection is out on March 8 and the first in a literary series called Multiverse, which emerges from practices of neurodivergent, autistic, neuroqueer, mad, nonspeaking, and disabled cultures. What wonderful words Emerson offers us in this collection. These poems are a spilling of joy and pleasure, a deep “yes yes yes” throughout each and every line. Emerson asks us Thank you Milkweed for this gifted copy of THE KISSING OF KISSING by Hannah Emerson, a nonspeaking autistic artist and poet ❤️ This collection is out on March 8 and the first in a literary series called Multiverse, which emerges from practices of neurodivergent, autistic, neuroqueer, mad, nonspeaking, and disabled cultures. What wonderful words Emerson offers us in this collection. These poems are a spilling of joy and pleasure, a deep “yes yes yes” throughout each and every line. Emerson asks us with an exuberant “please” to join her in intimate tactile exploration; invites us, the reader, to reshape what we perceive as destructive into beauty. Mud becomes birth; hell becomes an energetic site for life. Truly, if you let these words come a little closer, to kiss your skin, you will find yourself in Emerson’s woods of words, a place that, she writes, poetry built for her. What a pleasure to experience Emerson’s pleasure with language. A truly marvelous collection of poetry you’ll have to pick up. Looking forward to future Multiverse releases!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy Watkins

    These poems are exuberant, full of energy. If I were teaching, I would definitely add some of these to my syllabus. I wonder if the collection would have worked better for me as a chapbook. The book as a whole started to feel repetitive, which is intentional but didn't quite work for me. I love the concept of a series written and edited by neurodivergent people, and I will definitely check out more of the Multiverse series. These poems are exuberant, full of energy. If I were teaching, I would definitely add some of these to my syllabus. I wonder if the collection would have worked better for me as a chapbook. The book as a whole started to feel repetitive, which is intentional but didn't quite work for me. I love the concept of a series written and edited by neurodivergent people, and I will definitely check out more of the Multiverse series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kacey

    A few favorites Cicadas The reason you became human Bring the spring Language of leaves I live in the woods of my words Just happy that lovely children are dancing Peripheral

  8. 5 out of 5

    Poet’s Pulpit

    An original new voice whose words float and lines dance. Yes Yes!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sam

  10. 5 out of 5

    Colin Colter

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rhys

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

  14. 4 out of 5

    Karla Strand

  15. 4 out of 5

    Laura Marie

  16. 5 out of 5

    Devorah

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kelly O'Brien

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

  19. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Phister

  20. 4 out of 5

    Meekly

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lianne

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elsa

  24. 5 out of 5

    Mvargo

  25. 5 out of 5

    Classical Lady

  26. 5 out of 5

    Leila

  27. 5 out of 5

    Haley

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lizzie

  29. 4 out of 5

    Su Ciampa

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

  31. 4 out of 5

    David Ayats

  32. 4 out of 5

    J

  33. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  34. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

  35. 5 out of 5

    Dana

  36. 5 out of 5

    Sofia

  37. 4 out of 5

    J. Robinson-Readersgottoread

  38. 4 out of 5

    Shaina

  39. 4 out of 5

    Janna

  40. 5 out of 5

    Io Brooks

  41. 5 out of 5

    Melissa M

  42. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  43. 5 out of 5

    Katie Harbinson

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