Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $16.00
  • Save: $1.57 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Prelude to Bruise has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Acceptable | Details
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: No guarantee on products that contain supplements and some products may include highlighting and writing.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Prelude to Bruise Paperback – September 9, 2014

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.43
$8.25 $7.69

The Secret Healer
In the fourteenth century, opportunities for women are limited. But spirited young Madlen can't resist her gift for healing, even if it puts her life in danger. Learn More
$14.43 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Prelude to Bruise
  • +
  • Citizen: An American Lyric
Total price: $29.21
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

NPR's Best Books of 2014
Time Out New York Best Books of 2014
Book Riot, 2014’s Must-Read Books from Indie Presses
Split This Rock Recommended Poetry Books of 2014
Vol. 1 Brooklyn, A Year of Favorites, Jason Diamond
Greenlight Bookstore, Holiday Picks


“In his debut collection, Jones has crafted a fever dream, something akin to magic. . . Solid from start to finish, possessing amazing energy and focus, a bold new voice in poetry has announced itself”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Jones had a meteoric rise to literary prominence in the past year. . . . the poems of this book are harrowing and heartbreaking, treating family, sexuality, and race with unrelenting intensity.”Publishers Weekly

“A debut poetry collection examining identity in all its forms—racial, sexual, geographical, and more—with both incisive intensity and tenderness.“Off the Shelf

"Jones’s lavish sonic patterning and gothic imagery often recall the incendiary mythos and immaculate craft of Sylvia Plath’s Ariel as well as the haunted, sensual longing of Thomas James’s Letters to a Stranger." Kenyon Review Online

"[T]he way these poems address violence, life in the south, race, sexuality and relationships makes for an engrossing read best consumed in as few sittings as possible."Time

“This book leaves your body transformed in a way that poetry should." ElevenEleven

"This is indeed a book seamed in smoke; it is a dance that invites you to admire the supple twist of its narrative spine; it is hard and glaring and brilliant as the anthracite that opens the collection: 'a voice mistook for stone, / jagged black fist.'" NPR Book Review

“The features that distinguish his poems from prose — brevity, symbolism, implication — let him investigate the almost unsayable.”Los Angeles Times

"This year's Stonewall-Gittings literature award goes to Saeed Jones's Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House), a punch-in-your-gut fusion of racial, sexual, and personal struggle and a National Book Critics Circle finalist."Library Journal

“Perhaps the readiest, most painfully assured debut of the decade.”Flavorwire

"The poems in Prelude to Bruise enflame, with all flame's consequences of wounding and illumination . . . It's a story of the forces of destruction—the destruction of black bodies and black selves—built into America, and it surfaces in the lines of lust, violence, possession, and power." —Rain Taxi

“This book is so good it will give you night sweats."—Greenlight Bookstore

"An astonishing poetry collection, furious, tender, and true." —Tin House

Prelude to Bruise is a harrowing examination of masculinity and femininity as a “brutal” performance.”Buzzfeed

“Jones’ sentences bristle with foreboding . . . Jones seems to be playing with the idea of the nature of man, of those who live closer in tune with the laws of nature than with those of humanityJones, like great poet-novelists, fills his book with beautiful sentences.”Electric Literature

Prelude to Bruise is an airtight collection of visceral and stunning poems.”Mosaic Magazine

"Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones, a tome of searing poetry about what it means to be Black, gay, Southern and so much more"Refinery 29

"Prelude to Bruise Saeed Jones is a powerful collection . . . with a high level of craft, emotion and metaphor."Ebony

"Reading this book will change you."Cambridge Writers' Workshop

“Saeed Jones's first full-length book, Prelude to Bruise, is a necessary piece of contemporary poetry that bravely tackles issues such as abuse, promiscuity, homosexuality, and racism.”Prairie Schooner

"Jones uncovers what exactly is at stake when one presents oneself authentically, when one insists on being oneself regardless of the consequences."Coldfront

Prelude to Bruise was published by Coffee House in August to widespread (and deserved!) acclaim.”Electric Literature

"It packs a wallop . . . I found myself in awe."Raging Biblio-holism

“I didn’t exactly mean to survive myself,” writes the African-American poet Saeed Jones, and the line comes to my mind: what it means to have survived official policies designed to erase you, and the kind of impulse to self-destruction that might arise in the face of this."The Monthly(Australia)

“His work is imaginative and lyrical while maintaining a self-proclaimed ferocity, as if there could really be any other kind, that challenges conventions of masculinity and race in a deeply emotional way.” Dazed, “The top ten American writers you need to read this year”

“Maybe the best collection you will read this year, Jones is a poet who also understands how to tell a story, obviously keeping his feet planted in the former since poetry is his craft, but giving the reader so much more to unpack page after page. At times harrowing, Jones succeeds at never straying too far away from beauty and light, and that balance makes this a true reading experience.”—Jason Diamond, Vol. 1 Brooklyn September Books Review

“Saeed Jones may be one of the most necessary poets of our time.” —July Westhale, Lambda Literary

"Prelude to Bruise is a book with a controlled realm of imagery, which creates this really beautiful territory for the reader to explore.”Ace Hotel

“Beautiful, haunting and heartbreaking—Jones’s poems are an emotional punch to the gut. A lyrical shock to the system.” —Lambda Literary

“It's a diverse festival, showcasing talents as different as the best-selling crime novelist Rebecca Chance and the politically engaged poet Saeed Jones.”The Times Picayune

“[Saeed Jones] is leading the way and writing critically about the community,” [Spectrum’s president] Diaz said.”The Torch

"What these poems show us is the necessity of owning that longing, the refusal to let the wounds the world has laid upon us turn inward, into our shame, our silence. To show the world the face that the world has made."Muzzle Magazine

"Saeed Jones brought the audience to a near swoon."Twin Cities Daily Planet

“Prelude to Bruise is an airtight collection of visceral and stunning poems.”Mosaic Magazine

"I was bowled over by Saeed Jones’s Prelude to Bruise (Coffee House Press, £16), a beautiful and biting collection of poetry that has been making waves in the US. Investigating race, sexuality and what it means to be southern, Jones’s lean, searing lines transcend identity politics."New Statesmen (UK)

"Poetry book most likely to win over your poetry-avoiding friends: Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones"Time Out New York, "The Best Books of 2013"

“Jones is responsible for a growing portion of the gay narrative being written online, and the Internet is a much better place for it. His voice will have even more impact with his upcoming debut, which will explore the collision of race, sexuality and identity.”—The Root, “30 Viral Voices Under 30"

"For years now the Buzzfeed LGBT editor has been lighting it up at his day job, and also on Twitter, with a ferocity befitting his name. Now, after earning praise from D.A. Powell and after winning a NYC-based Literary Death Match bout, Jones will use his debut collection to prominently display his poetry chops."—The Millions

"This powerful collection feels at times like a blow to the throat, but when we recover, the air is sweeter for having been absent."—Guernica

“A work of insight and great beauty, Jones’ first poetry collection manages to be both ferocious and and subtle.”Brooklyn Magazine

"It’s a book about identity that expands beyond the borders of the terms we use to cordon off safe spaces."—Dialogist

"[A] stunning debut collection of one of America’s most promising young poets. . . These poems lacerate as they heal, making us feel the resilient intensity of a protagonist who says, “I didn’t exactly mean to survive myself.”—The Journal

“Saeed Jones has created a radically different coming of age narrative distinctly his own through forceful, original poetry.”—Lonesome Reader

“[A] daring, ferocious, and often impossibly gorgeous meditation on boyhood and personhood, language and love.”—Flavorwire, "10 New Must Reads for September"

"The first book of Saeed Jones's poetry, Prelude to Bruise, reads with astonishing momentum and tenacity, a lyrical torch thrust into shadows and silence to illuminate pain from a history of wounds." Shelf Awareness

"Jones has a voice, and it is not plucky or regretful. It is not about being a 'man' – it’s more ambitious. This book is his credo, his aspiration. Convert or abstain, his 'hunger [does] not apologize.'"—Poets at Work

“For their journey on this beautifully clear but sweltering Saturday afternoon, they were not disappointed, treated to over a dozen readings of vintage O'Hara poems, as well as new poems written by the likes of Saeed Jones, author of Prelude to Bruise and the editor of Buzzfeed LGBT…” Huffington Post

"You may know Saeed Jones as the Buzzfeed's Literary Editor, but you definitely should get to know him for his poetry as well."—Bustle

"These poems are tightly constructed, scary-beautiful, and lyrically brilliant, driven by a raw and devastating emotional power. He awes me."The Millions

"Saeed Jones begins this electrifying book—one of the most exciting debut collections I’ve read in years—with a quotation from Kafka’s notebooks: “The man in ecstasy and the man drowning—both throw up their arms.” It’s a powerful opening for these searing poems." Towleroad

"In his first book of poetry, Jones blazes forth, his voice new, potent, lyrical, and deadly beautiful. Enveloping his words in the body, its politics, its genders and colors, the legacy of its trials and abuse, Jones sings truths from the perimeter, the disenfranchised, the ready to be heard."—Bookshop Santa Cruz

“Riveting and heartening to read. . .”—The Dodge Blog, “2014 Featured Poet: Saeed Jones”

"Jones' haunting lyricism creates a portrait of hard-won self-realization, of a young man's determined struggle, pushing through doubt and distress with the strength of his imagination and verve." —NBCC's Critical Mass

"I had to stop trying to read Saeed Jones’s debut, Prelude to Bruise, on the subway to avoid yelping with joy, weeping, or getting all hot and bothered in public."—Work in Progress

Prelude to Bruise is a thunderous title for a first collection. It promises that a bruise will come later. It says that, even when we feel like we’re drowning, we can still be ecstatic.”—The Brooklyn Rail

“Heartrending, lyrical, and raw.”—BuzzFeed

“Ecstatic and haunting.”—Brooklyn Magazine

“This is the type of book that merits clichéd hyperbole: because it will actually “leave you floored,” “feeling naked” (together, that’s almost a Natalie Imbruglia lyric!), and “gasping for breath.”—Flavorwire

"A radical standard of pain acknowledges the intersection between individual and collective histories of suffering. This radical standard is the thrust of works like . . . Saeed Jones' Prelude to Bruise, a collection of poems that narrates the wounds of a black gay boy in the American South."—Pacific Standard

“Poems like “Post Apocalyptic Heartbreak,” “History According to Boy,” “Prelude to Bruise,” and others will break your heart and force you to investigate and confront the unconscionable brutality of this nation.”—MELO

“A compelling collection.”—Runestone

“Saeed writes about blackness and gayness, fierce and thick and brave in every poem.”Medium

"Damn near genius."Shade

About the Author

Saeed Jones is the author of the chapbook When the Only Light is Fire (2011, Sibling Rivalry Press). His work has appeared in Best Gay Stories 2013 , Guernica , Ebony Magazine , The Rumpus , Hayden's Ferry Review and West Branch among other publications. Jones received his MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University – Newark and is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and Queer / Arts / Mentors. He works as the editor of BuzzfeedLGBT and lives in Harlem.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Interested in the Audiobook Edition?
If you’re the author, publisher, or rights holder of this book, let ACX help you produce the audiobook.Learn more.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Coffee House Press (September 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566893747
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566893749
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Raw, fresh, like the sap springing from freshly cut wood. I devoured this book and plan to keep it close. Do yourself a favor and buy two copies - you'll want to give one to your lover, your friend, your reading buddy so that someone else can experience this with you, jump in feet first holding hands. You'll be different when you come up for air.
Comment 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Saeed Jones locates his voice where race, gayness, and the self they shape intersect with a larger, complexly populated landscape: “Hunger is how we are / under a black lacquered moon” (“Eclipse of my Third Life”). His identity does not adhere solely to the accident of birth but engages with the environment, or sometimes is claimed by force of circumstance: “I’ve laced my eyelids with algae. // I blind emerald. / I blink sea-glass green” (“Mississippi Drowning”). The imperatives of the world overlay, dilute, and sometimes cancel those of the man behind the poems. Opening himself to the world, neither hiding behind nor armoring himself with a prefabricated identity, Jones embraces the drama of living in a larger imaginative world:

Half this life I’ve spent falling out of fourth-story windows.
Pigeons for hair, wind for feet. Sometimes I sing

“Stormy Weather” on the way down.
(“Postapocalyptic Heartbeat” IV).
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is a powerful and unsettling debut poetry collection. Many of the poems are brutal and violent, dark and sexual (and not in a loving way). Suicide is a major theme, but the language is startling and also beautiful at times. At first, I wasn't really connecting with these poems because they were making me too uncomfortable, but the more time I spent with them, the more I came to appreciate their rawness and power. This isn't a collection where you'll find yourself relating to the speaker (at least I hope not). Rather, this is a collection to open your eyes about the difficult lives some experience. "If I ever strangled sparrows, it was only because I dreamed of better songs."
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Prelude to Bruise by Saeed Jones is a powerhouse of a poetry book. The last section of it, which feels somewhat biographical, I have no idea if it is or not, is just heart wrenching in its honesty and beauty. The pain present in these words is tangible. I highly recommend it, and it deserves all the accolades it is getting. This is the poetry that steals your breath and sticks with you long after the book is closed.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such an amazing collection of poems. I had to read it for my Arts in NY class, but do not regret it one bit. We also got to meet the author and he was such an amazing guy, full of honesty and inspiration. Definitely recommend this!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best collections of poetry I've read. Jones is a preacher of the poignant, with echoes of Langston Hughes. Every poem, every line gave me pause, and I'd have to reread to believe the miracle of language. This is a necessary read.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
some of the poems are gems, special moments captured in searing language. Rough, beautiful, with the aura of truth about them.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. Stunning, heartbreaking, insightful. These poems will stay with me for a long time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Prelude to Bruise
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Prelude to Bruise

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: love poems