Guest Post by Jami Macarty
In Worldly Things, Michael Kleber-Diggs offers readers the opportunity to tune to his point of view as a middle-class Black American: “this is what I witness; / I want you to notice it, too.” Kleber-Diggs shows up to the page with a direct address and his “full humanity,” allowing the reader to come to know him as a generous poet, an ethical person, a family man, and community-minded soul, seeking and contributing to a socially just world. His poems recount the great suffering caused by “circumstances / marginalized, disenfranchised, and unheard”—the zeitgeist of his time and ours. Because he “wanted it different,” through his poems, he offers “aid.” As Kleber-Diggs’s lungs “take in / send out—oxygen/words,” his poems help us “know how twisted up our roots / are,” and dreams that “we might make vast shelter together—” Selected by Henri Cole as winner of the 2020 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize, Michael Kleber-Diggs’s haze-clearing, solace-offering, and love-illuminated debut Worldly Things expands the gamut, “the entirety of it”!
Worldly Things by Michael Kleber-Diggs. Milkweed Editions, July 2021.
Reviewer bio: Jami Macarty is the author of The Minuses (Center for Literary Publishing, 2020), winner of the 2020 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award – Poetry Arizona, and three chapbooks, including Mind of Spring (Vallum, 2017), winner of the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award. Jami’s writing has been honored by financial support from Arizona Commission on the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, and by editors at magazines such as The Capilano Review, Concision Poetry Journal, Interim, Redivider, Vallum, and Volt, where Jami’s poems appear. More at https://jamimacarty.com/