Poet Edgar Kunz reads from his debut full-length collection, alongside local poet Shubha Sunder.
"Charts the gritty, physical terrain of blue-collar masculinity."--New York Times New & Noteworthy
“Kunz arrives with real poetic talent.”--The Millions, “Must Read Poetry”
"[A] gritty, insightful debut." --Washington Post
Approach these poems as short stories, plainspoken lyric essays, controlled arcs of a bildungsroman, then again as narrative verse. Tap Out, Edgar Kunz’s debut collection, reckons with his working‑poor heritage. Within are poignant, troubling portraits of blue‑collar lives, mental health in contemporary America, and what is conveyed and passed on through touch and words--violent, or simply absent.
Yet Kunz’s verses are unsentimental, visceral, sprawling between oxys and Bitcoin, crossing the country restlessly. They grapple with the shame and guilt of choosing to leave the culture Kunz was born and raised in, the identity crises caused by class mobility. They pull the reader close, alternating fierce whispers and proud shouts about what working hands are capable of and the different ways a mind and body can leave a life they can no longer endure. This hungry new voice asks: after you make the choice to leave, what is left behind, what can you make of it, and at what cost?
Edgar Kunz was born and raised in New England. His work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, the MacDowell Colony, Vanderbilt University, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where he teaches at Goucher College and in the MFA program at Salve Regina University.
Shubha Sunder grew up in Bangalore, India, and presently lives in Jamaica Plain. Her writing has appeared in Lenny Letter, Crazyhorse, Narrative Magazine, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Bare Life Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Massachusetts Cultural Council Fellowship, and she teaches at GrubStreet.