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“Once in a while, a book comes along that makes me shout, that makes me viscerally giddy with poetry’s good news. This is one of those books. Here, language crashes against purity’s regimes and reverberates in thick, feral chords. With abundant sonics, formal virtuosity, and a rigorous queer erotic, Alabi proves that every inheritance can be both wound and portal. Against Heaven is a stunning debut from one of our most talented emerging voices; the wildest part of you has been waiting for it.”—Franny Choi
“A sacrament to the underworld, Against Heaven ushers us into a vast network of ritual and erotic apertures. Just as the title signals, these poems oppose and live skin-to-skin with the afterlife. With an antlered and unruly vernacular, Alabi radicalizes lyric, making it their accomplice. ‘The blackest jade,’ ‘half butane, half lemon juice,’ a ‘misalphaed wolf carcass to climb through,’ this thrilling portal of disobedience and rapture builds altars of sound for the dead and dispossessed. Against Heaven is an ecstatic, immersive debut, a place to reside, and an extraordinary feat in language and experimentation.”—Xan Phillips
“Against Heaven is a book of delightful confrontations—poems that rearrange and reshape a willing reader's relationship to language, and the many universes that language can hold within.”—Hanif Abdurraqib
“Against Heaven activates multiple lexicons, seeking to construct the immensity of black queer subjectivity with guile and formal virtuosity. At once sonic and disruptive, these poems pull together everything in a world where nothing is sacred.”—Claudia Rankine, judge’s statement for the Academy of American Poets First Book Award