Hanif Abdurraqib


Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. It was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize, and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. With Big Lucks, he released a limited edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, in summer 2017 (you cannot get it anymore and he is very sorry.) His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in winter 2017 by Two Dollar Radio and was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and The Chicago Tribune, among others. He released Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest with University of Texas press in February 2019. The book became a New York Times Bestseller, was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune For Your Disaster, was released in 2019 by Tin House, and won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2021, he will release the book A Little Devil In America with Random House. He is a graduate of Beechcroft High School. Source

The Summer A Tribe Called Quest Broke Up

    all them black 

                     boys in the ‘hood 

                                               had they wallets 

                                                                           unearthed in cities 

                                                                                                            they ain’t never 

                                                                                     seen before & they

                                                                                                  was all empty 

                                                                      ‘cept for maybe the bones 

                                               of the last woman 

    to hold them in her arms & 

call them by the 

name they blessed the 

earth with & all of the horns 

                                            on my block crawled back 

                                                                                 into they cases & marched to

                                                                                                                          new mouths & fathers

                                                                                                                          had nothing to press 

                                                                                                                          their lips to & make sing &

                                                                                 i think this why brandon’s mother

                                                     left & what difference is there 

   in those things which we lose 

   & those things which decide 

   to gift us with a kind 

                           of feral silence? 

                                         the change that leapt 

                                                                     from our pockets into the cracked 

                                                                                                  basketball courts & the older brothers 


                                                                                                  who never found their way back home





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:



Music & Sports

Literary Devices:


the attribution of human qualities to a non-human thing

Rhetorical Question

a question asked for effect, not necessarily to be answered