“A nature diary—in which it is human nature up for exploration—MARS. Marshall’s
FLOWER BOI utilizes received formal conventions in order to articulate that which resists
the limitations of form or, as the poet puts it, ‘how space can be both void and / full is a
trick only the BOI knows well.’ Trick? No, there are no tricks or gimmicks here; this is a
poet of ravishing innovation. The vowel, that “O,” at the center of Marshall’s BOI is
passageway (‘I try to make a map of my body / See which roads lead me to drink from / a
river made by my hands…’); is apostrophe (‘You, who turn your palms upward, gaze at
the sky, proclaim I leave myself at the mercy of you…’); and is, at last, a hero’s journey
from hole to whole to ‘How holy it is, to grab light of us and say, friend….’ I can’t
imagine a world where every debut is as fearless and brazen as Marshall’s Flower Boi” —Tommye Blount, author of Fantasia for the Man in Blue
Poetry. African & African American Studies. LGBTQ+ Studies.
MARS is a writer and cultural organizer born and raised in Detroit. Their work has been published in Obsidian Literature & Arts for the African Diaspora, Michigan Quarterly Review: The Mixtape, Foglifter Journal, Gertrude Press, and elsewhere. MARS is a 2021 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow in Poetry and a 2019 Lambda Literary Art Emerging Writers Fellow in Poetry.