Into Each Room We Enter without Knowing: poems
Winner of the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award, selected by Allison Joseph.
Available for purchase at Southern Illinois University Press, Indiebound, and Amazon.
Publishers Weekly Starred Review
Center for African American Poetry & Poetics Review
Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) Review
Up the Staircase Quarterly Review
Anomaly: Journal of Literature and Art Review
Chicago Review of Books - Best Poetry Books of 2017
Goodreads Essential Books of Poetry for Black History Month
"A heroic first collection. . . We need Shanahan’s voice in this time of reckoning with ourselves as a complex nation."
—Yusef Komunyakaa, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Magic City
“An intricate meditation on the complexities of identity. . .These are resonant poems, both searching and tender. ”
—Natasha Trethewey, former U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Native Guard
“Lyrical and unforgiving. . . A rare kind of poet.”
—Ilya Kaminsky, Whiting Award–winning author of Dancing in Odessa
CRAB ORCHARD SERIES IN POETRY JUDGE'S CITATION:
"Charif Shanahan's poetry lives and thrives at the risky intersections of race, class, religion, gender, and sexuality, giving full lyric expression to all the cadences and intimacies that make his work so profound. His is the poetry of the traveling mind, the wandering soul, the poet as reporter and as fortune-teller, as confidant and soothsayer. This book will not leave you, will not easily shake you free to move onto the next book. Moment by moment, Charif Shanahan builds worlds out of the most exquisite and tender images, makes searingly real human agonies and regrets we usually dare not speak. Into Each Room. . . is more than a debut collection of poetry—it's a revelation. It's the kind of book that in its beauty and force, makes us glad to be alive."
—Allison Joseph, author of Imitation of Life and My Father's Kites