Poet, essayist, biographer, and music critic Hanif Abdurraqib’s second collection of poems, A Fortune For Your Disaster (Tin House, 2019), won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Throughout, Abdurraqib uses touchstones from the world outside—from Marvin Gaye to Nikola Tesla to his neighbor’s dogs—to create a mirror, inside of which every angle presents a new possibility. His topics wrestle with histories, personal and shared: how one rebuilds after a heartbreak; a mother’s death; admitting that Michael Jordan pushed off; forgiveness; and how none of the author’s black friends wanted to listen to “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Hanif Abdurraqib’s first book of poems, The Crown Ain’t Worth Much (Button Poetry, 2016), was a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize. They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us (Two Dollar Radio, 2017), his first collection of essays, was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and The Chicago Tribune. His nonfiction book Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press, 2019), was a New York Times Bestseller and a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award.