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About Aria Aber
Aria Aber was raised in Germany, where she was born to Afghan refugees. Her debut book Hard Damage won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry and will be published in September 2019. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in The New Yorker, New Republic, Kenyon Review, The Yale Review, Poem-A-Day, Narrative, Muzzle Magazine, Wasafiri and others. A graduate from the NYU MFA in Creative Writing, where she was the Writers in Public Schools Fellow, she holds awards and fellowships from Kundiman and Dickinson House and was the 2018-2019 Ron Wallace Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing. She’s currently based in Berlin and is at work on her second book.
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Invested in and suspicious of the pain of family and the shame of selfhood, the speakers of these richly evocative and musical poems mourn the magnitude of citizenship as a state of place and a state of mind. While Hard Damage is framed by free-verse poetry, the middle sections comprise a lyric essay in fragments and a long documentary poem. Aber explores Rilke in the original German, the urban melancholia of city life, inherited trauma, and displacement on both linguistic and environmental levels, while employing surrealist and eerily domestic imagery.
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