Publication Info

Graywolf Press
ISBN: 978-1-55597-750-4
88 Pages
Pub Date: September 6, 2016


“Goldacre,” Paris Review (Summer 2016)

“Blueacre,” Poem-a-Day,, The Academy of American Poets (Apr. 13, 2016)

“Redacre,” The (Jan. 28, 2016)

“White Noise,” The New Republic (September 17, 2015)

“Interrogation of the Hanged Man,” “Portrait of a Hanged Man,” “Desideratum,” Lana Turner (Fall 2015)

“Blackacre,” Poetry (June 2015)

“Goldacre,” The New Yorker (June 1, 2015)

“Whiteacre,” Poem-a-Day,, The Academy of American Poets (January 22, 2015)

“Lamentation of the Hanged Men,” “Portrait of a Hanged Woman,” Boston Review (November 14, 2014)

“March of the Hanged Men,” Paris Review (Winter 2013), 

“Self-Portrait in a Wire Jacket,” Poem-a-Day,, The Academy of American Poets (August 8, 2013)

“Against Imagism,” The New Yorker (July 23, 2012)

Each poem feels urgent thanks to the tension created by language that is austere yet unsparing, and rhetoric that is restrained yet deeply emotional. . . . [Youn’s] intelligence feels extensive and inviting. . . . Blackacrestands as a gorgeous and intellectually scintillating addition to this esoteric and necessary tradition.—Chicago Tribune

Blackacre is virtuosic: poems so sharp and fine they cut deep past the body or the self or the mind—they’re needles of rain carving out a canyon. Death is as close as birth, and as far. Youn dazzles with her enigmatic loopholes—the taut noose, the elusive umbilicus, the Möbius qualities of longing and lack and love—which shadow or shape who we are, and what can be called ours.—Brenda Shaughnessy

In Monica Youn’s remarkable series of poems, words and objects are alike subjected to a probing intelligence that is at once philosophical and psychological. The precision of observation at every level is almost overwhelming. The reader cannot relax for an instant, nor does she want to because the unfolding thought, wire tight and tactile as well as conceptual, is so compelling and demanding of a complete attention that is more than rewarded.—Stanley Fish

Monica Youn, quite simply, is one of the two or three most brilliant poets working in America today. In these revelatory poems, the reader encounters an exhilarating thinking-through of all that lyric form entails. No one can match her for impeccable distillation; we knew that before. But in Blackacre, we also encounter a more expansive, undefended version of the poet than any of her previous work had led us to expect. This book is a marvel; read it and read it again.—Linda Gregerson

First coined in 1628, the term “blackacre” is a legal fiction, a hypothetical estate. It is also a password among lawyers marking one’s initiation into a centuries-old tradition of legal indoctrination. Monica Youn’s fascinating, multifaceted new collection, Blackacre, uses the term to suggest landscape, legacy, what is allotted to each of us—a tract of land, a work of art, a heritage, a body, a destiny. What are the limits of the imagination’s ability to transform what is given? On any particular acre, can we plant a garden? Found a city? Unearth a treasure? Build a home? Youn brings her lawyerly intelligence and lyric gifts to bear on questions of fertility and barrenness as she attempts to understand her own desire—her own struggle—to conceive a child. Where the shape-making mind encounters unalterable fact, Blackacre explores new territories of art, meaning, and feeling.


Publishers Weekly “Top 10 Poetry Book for Fall 2016”

New York Magazine “45 New Books to Read This Fall”

Brooklyn Magazine “The 100 Books to Read for the Rest of 2016”

NPR “2016 Poetry Preview”

Chicago Tribune (Kathleen Rooney)

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