In Blackbirds, Greg Santos delves into the raw, private mythologies of parenthood, adoption, ethnicity, and uncertain histories. These lyrical poems bring us from Lisbon’s winding ways, to cramped Paris quarters and sacred spaces, to Cambodian street markets – all those rooms, wombs, and ruins that make up a complicated and poignant personal history. Building on the wit and charm of his previous full-length collections, here Santos brings us to a space both dark and dear.
Greg Santos is the author of Rabbit Punch! (DC Books, 2014) and The Emperor’s Sofa (DC Books, 2010). He is of Cambodian, Portuguese, and Spanish descent. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. His writing has appeared in The Walrus, Geist, Ricepaper, Queen’s Quarterly, World Literature Today, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and The Best American Poetry Blog. He regularly works with at-risk communities and teaches at the Thomas More Institute. He is the poetry editor of carte blanche and lives in Montreal, Canada, with his wife and two children.
Santos is a poet of exceptional ingenuity, insight and range. The poems in Blackbirds travel through shifting geographies of emotion, holding a mirror to life’s complexity. They remind us to laugh, or at least chortle, in the face of futility.– Cora Siré
Underlying the simplicity of Santos’s poems is a hard-earned wisdom and the courage of living with loss. Wherever they take you – Angkor or Lisboa, Paris or his backyard, his poems with their fragmented glimpses of connections will “feel real.”– Phoebe Wang