Featured Authors, News


Post Traumatic Hood Disorder, David Tomas Martinez

CLMP 2019 Firecracker Award Finalist in Poetry

PEN America Los Angeles, "July Book Club Pick

The New York Times, "New & Noteworthy"

The American Poetry Review, Issue 47 No 1, Featured Poet

The Rumpus, "What to Read When You Want to Celebrate Poetry"

In the Margins Book Awards, 2019 Social Justice/ Advocacy Nominee

“Look at homie on the beach picking shells in dress shoes,” David Tomas Martinez writes in his raw, electrifying second collection. His widely praised debut, Hustle, revealed the singular voice of a young man traumatized by the hood he was strong enough to transcend. In Post Traumatic Hood Disorder, he returns with a haunted depiction of life after tumult and hurt. Martinez moves swiftly from Che to Sir Mix-A-Lot, from Versace to Icarus, from Mt. Sinai to the Eldjga volcano, from Pegasus to a pair of father and son bulls, protagonists of a dirty joke. “My hustle has been a stone/ breaking the bad luck of a lake,” he writes, and the poems maneuver anxiously between that bad luck lake and the writer he has become. This is the question, and the struggle, at the center of these poems: who am I now? Where does a study of Greek gods fit with the memory of watching porn with a group of men? How did machismo affect my mysteriously broken relations with women? Am I more kin to Montaigne than Kanye?  These questions define our contemporary obsessions, and David Martinez adds to that conversation poems that dazzle, even as they move and enlighten us. 

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David Tomas Martinez is a CantoMundo fellow and recipient of a 2017 NEA Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, the Verlaine Poetry Prize, and the Stanley P. Young Fellowship from Breadloaf. Hustle, his debut collection from Sarabande, won the New England Book Festival's Poetry Prize, the Devil's Kitchen Reading Award, and $10,000 from the Antonio Cisneros Del Moral Foundation. Poems from the new book have appeared in Tin House, Oxford American, Boston Review, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, and Poetry. He lives in Brooklyn

Martinez follows his acclaimed debut, Hustle, with a series of lyrical riffs on American culture that juxtapose literary erudition and swaggering vernacular. . . . [T]hese poems reveal an ear honed on poetic tradition and hip-hop (‘About suffering they were never wrong,/ the old rappers’) and explore intersections of identity with strikingly musical results.
— Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
In Hustle (2014), his code-switching debut book of poetry, Martinez let loose with lyrics that brought the poet’s street-smarts and book-smarts cascading together. In his second collection, Martinez’s poetic voice is more assured and no less ambitious. . . A cynicism undercuts the collection’s gravity, and Martinez builds a complex humor throughout, using deadpan wit and wordplay to deliver amusing observations. . . . In perfectly contrasting lyrics, Martinez blends echoes of pop culture with deeply felt evocations of masculinity and history, with nostalgia for Notorious B.I.G. and Nietzsche occupying the same headspace.
— Booklist
[Martinez’s] lines are sharp and musical, deftly split and carefully crafted. Flexible line breaks create layered poems that nod to multiple, simultaneous meanings. . . . Martinez’s are poems to be experienced; they engage sight, sound, and meaning all at once. Martinez melds an urban background, a modernist’s attention to precision, and a rapper’s flow to form an irresistible collection of contemporary poetry.
— Foreword Reviews