Not Your Mama's Melting Pot


Not Your Mama's Melting Pot

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley

The Backwaters Prize in Poetry Series

116 pages


October 2018


$16.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

“From jump, there was such sonic, emotional, and intellectual drive to these poems, that I couldn’t resist–why would I want to–the pull of Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley’s vision and sensibility. Verve and élan are words I might use, but they lack sufficient verve and élan. And if I wrote, ‘his future is bright, ‘ I’d be wrong–his future is here, and this book is as much fire as I can ask for.” —Bob Hicok, author of Hold

Author Bio

Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley is not the Ben Kingsley best known for his Academy Award-winning role as Mahatma Gandhi. This Ben is a touch less famous, having not acted since his third-grade debut as the Undertaker in Music Man. Affrilachian author and Kundiman alum, Ben is currently the 22nd Tickner Writing Fellow and recipient of a Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center Fellowship. He belongs to the Onondaga Nation of Indigenous Americans in New York. His next collection, Colonize Me, is forthcoming with Saturnalia in 2019, followed by Demos, with Milkweed Editions in 2020. Peep his recent work in the anthologies Best New Poets 2017 (ed. Natalie Diaz), Native Voices: Indigenous Poetry from North America, and Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, as well as the journals American Indian Culture and Research, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, New England Review, Oxford American, and Tin House, among others.


“At turns mixing and remixing form, lineage, and landscape, Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley’s debut unveils a world of tender witness, beginning with the street, moving through history, and ending with reclamation of wild possibility. Here is a collection itchy to witness all the lives that have formed it. Brotherhood. Family stories. Hard music, rhythm.  The lines bob, weave, and juke. They gap. Restless, this is the stuff of multitudinous life. Dense, replete with daring imagery, elegiac, celebratory, urgent, this astonishing collection startles you with its virtuosity and refuses to be binned down.”—Cathy Linh Che, author of Split