A blazing new arrival on the poetry scene, Danae Young writes from the blurred intersection of race, gender, and sexuality.
With this book we hail the arrival of an electrifying new voice on the poetry scene. Though to be clear, Danae Younge has already “arrived” with a blitz of poems published in journals domestic and international while still an undergraduate. And no wonder, with poems like “A Girl Walks Home Alone” containing the chilling lines “My friend’s rapist was the sweat-mark of a body / against oozing bulbs, a stripped suit lifted from grimed flooring, / made animate, thrusting as if by strings—pretending to be man.” Writing from the blurred intersections of race, sexuality, and gender, she confronts “Questions of how we survive, / or flourish” in the face of violence. She makes dazzling experiments with form (in the tour-de-force “26 Seconds of Sacrifice” the biblical sacrifice of Abraham is woven through an account of a night in the life of a “15-year old girl … Proving she was worthy to be one of the guys who shared an e-cig before making it home”), sometimes shattering words in the process. Infinity signs appear throughout, as if to say that there is only so much that language alone can express. For anyone who still questions the vitality and centrality of poetry at this moment, Danae Younge and THESE PINK COCOONS OF ICE are all the evidence needed.
Poetry. African & African American Studies. LGBTQ+ Studies. Women's Studies.
“Danae Younge’s new chapbook, THESE PINK COCOONS OF ICE, is a vivid extolment of the magic and wonder of the natural world. Formally inventive and highly imagistic, Younge’s lyric brings blunt vision to the ordinary violence that oft accompanies femininity. These poems roam the wilds, the spooky dens of snakes and spiders, paying witness to the brutal rites of burgeoning womanhood—the howling, the warp, the fruit, the blood. Here is heartbreak, desire, wounding, laid bare. THESE PINK COCOONS OF ICE is an offering from a dazzling new voice in contemporary poetry, praise song to Black femmehood, in all its delicacy and shimmer, incorruptible and ever glorious.”
—Chekwube Danladi, award-winning author of Semiotics
“Less a study in pink than a study of dissected guavas and severed tongues, THESE PINK COCOONS OF ICE is a masterclass in the use of poetic color. Adolescence feels infinite in these pages, and the snakes and ever-present insects that skitter from margin to margin abandon traditional nightsong for something altogether more dangerous. Young’s experiments with typography add a cerebral high note to the darker and more ferocious work of this collection, which wrestles with questions of feminine identity and walks away 'dripping in stallion's blood.'”
—Michael C. Young, editor of Rust & Moth
“In her collection of poems, THESE PINK COCOONS OF ICE, Younge challenges conventional social expectations of female sexuality, exposing in new and exciting ways the systems that dictate what it means to be feminine and then in turn oppress those who are. With stunning imagery and breathtaking use of form, Younge’s poems insist on truth, both the beautiful and the violent, urging us to reject society’s prescripts, to define ourselves on our own terms, to 'move : resist : giggle : persist : spread open,' because the reality is that 'tomorrow, we may be devoured.'”
—Stephanie McCarley Dugger, author of Either Way, You’re Done
Danae Younge is an award-winning poet who studies creative writing in Los Angeles, California. At twenty-one years old, Younge's work has been internationally recognized by Driftwood Press, Salamander Magazine, WALTER Magazine, and over forty other publications as well as five worldwide print anthologies. Her debut chapbook, Melanin Sun (-) Blind Spots (2022), won the National Federation of State Poetry Societies' college undergraduate competition, and was given the Florence Kahn Memorial award. She was nominated for the Pushcart Prize and twice for the 2023 Best of Net awards.