number one earthhazel avery
this is my last day on this earth
but don’t worry
i will be back on monday
i go to my other earth on the weekends
my earths have been split up
for a long time
since i was little
A poem spell aimed at the existence of bodies and trauma, hazel avery’s debut collection of poetry narrates and navigates healing. With great tenderness, number one earth’s desire lies in understanding the worlds we pass through before, during and after we learn to hurt in this life. avery’s poetry longs to make these worlds co-exist, to understand their intersections, what they mean, and seeks to discover which earth we came from, so we can know which earth we’re headed towards.
“Reading these poems is like watching a conductor command an orchestra; avery is at once poised and radically vulnerable. What a joy to witness!”
– Billy-Ray Belcourt, author of This Wound is a World, winner of the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize
“Dantean in scope, number one earth appears as a gloss of texts lost, a linkage of things around us. With ornamentation, repetition, and formal play—bees busy ‘being,’ ‘some-worm-somewhere’s / favorite dirt’—the work remains, at heart, a direct and affected one: ‘brackishness / an egret / is comforting in this.’ Such lines crawl, oracular, through their precision, determinately, to an ‘out there,’ seemingly despite the world. It is not that the particular is known, the general unknown, but, we are reminded, exactly the other way around. That even now ‘what is most important,’ that we must again return to, is the ‘shape of orbit / not objects themselves / in orbit.’ Let number one earth carry you, concentrically, urgently, there.”
– Jos Charles, author of feeld (winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series) and safe space
The Cascade | avery’s number one earth is a balm for those who need it … In their creation of a space for healing and acceptance (of the self, of the parts of the self in need of healing), avery opens up an opportunity for the further implementation of wilful empathy and patience (towards the self, others).
The Montreal Review of Books | “avery’s number one earth is a poetic game of cosmic Tetris (…) The voice is so winning and so sure-footed that it never approaches the twee or false (…) avery has achieved a magnificent debut, one that knows its own limits and asks for our patience with the impasse that is being a person with the impossible capacity to create an imagined world within the confines of a real one.”
hazel avery is a poet and writer currently based in philadelphia. Her debut collection number one earth was selected as the winner of the 2017 Metatron Prize. Her poetry has appeared in The Puritan, b l u s h, hot dog mag, and fields mag. her poem “quilt” was recently exhibited in the Man-Made Disaster art show in London. Her non-fiction has appeared in Real Life Mag and Melt Mag.