L. Lamar Wilson

“L. Lamar Wilson reinvents the memoir in verse with the tour de force of his Sacrilegion. With a keen eye that toggles between reverie and our hopes for the future, Wilson offers a salve for any soul that knows what it feels like to be counted out only to fight back toward resurrection. Few collections will move the spirit like this one; from its incantatory moments to those that speak in tongues, you believe, with every line, that this poet does ‘feel everything everywhere else/more than most.’” —A.VAN JORDAN

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L. Lamar Wilson’s documentary poetics has been featured in two poetry collections, a stage production, and a film. Sacrilegion (Carolina Wren Press, 2013) was a finalist for the Thom Gunn Award. Prime: Poetry and Conversation (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2014) received a 2015 American Library Association “Over the Rainbow” Commendation. The Gospel Truth, a musical adaptation of Sacrilegion, was performed in Miami and Tallahassee, Fla., in 2014 and 2017, the latter time with a troupe that honors artists with cognitive and physical differences. The Changing Same, a POV Shorts collaboration with Rada Film Group that debuted in 2019 on PBS, won a special jury prize at the 2018 New Orleans Film Festival. Wilson’s work centers the voices and experiences of black and brown folk thriving in the rural South despite relentless, centuries-long homegrown terrorism. Wilson, a Florida A&M alumnus, has received fellowships from the Cave Canem, Ragdale, and Hurston-Wright foundations, among others, and holds an MFA from Virginia Tech and a doctorate in African American and multiethnic American poetics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Wilson teaches at Wake Forest University and the Mississippi University for Women.