Daniel Blokh is a Jewish-American writer based in Birmingham, Alabama. His parents hail from Russia and Ukraine. He is one of five 2018 National Student Poets, representing the Southeast region. He is the author of the memoir In Migration (BAM! Publishing, 2016), the chapbook Grimmening (Diode Editions, 2018), and the chapbook Holding Myself Hostage In The Kitchen (Lit City Press, 2017). His work has won 1st in the Princeton High School Poetry Competition and been recognized by Scholastic Art and Writing awards and Foyle Young Poet awards, and has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, DIALOGIST, Permafrost, Blueshift, Cleaver, Gigantic Sequins, Forage Poetry, Avis, Thin Air, Cicada, and more.
Photo Courtesy of the Author
About the Book
In grimmening, Blokh lays bare the anxieties of adolescence, revealing the struggle of navigating a new and unfamiliar world. Throughout poems that take the appearance of guides, the narrator searches for comfort in art, faith, and identity. Grimmening shows us that to growing up is to grapple with the universe; that to discover a new world means letting go of an old one.
The poems in Daniel Blokh’s chapbook, grimmening, have been following me everywhere. Like the moon, these poems “can find a river/in anyone.” I didn’t know how badly I needed these poems. I was immediately taken with how careful and tender Blokh is with his language. I could read these poems over and over and discover something new every time. I can’t wait to see what this poet will give us in the future, but for now, we are so so lucky to have grimmening.
— Hieu Minh Nguyen, author of Not Here
Daniel Blokh is a poet of surreality, mystery, and wonder. In deft poems that startle and engage, Blokh shows us a “world [that] learns to bend under a bloody horizon”, a world in which “the sky turns red / and prays for curtains.” These poems make me excited for both the future and the now of poetry—they demand to be read and reflected upon every bit as much as they deserve to be.
—Peter LaBerge, author of Makeshift Cathedral
In grimmening, Daniel Blokh writes blood, bone, family and identity with exact and exacting verse. These poems bite—they teach us “how the world / learns to bend under a bloody horizon,” the way to “[stitch] the sun into [your] chest.” In this stunning collection, Blokh’s poems are urgent and careful, tight in verse but expansive in thought. Blokh shows us that he knows his way around a poem, and that the world grows more beautiful and more complicated when seen through a poet’s glimmering eye.
—Ashley M. Jones, author of Reparations Now!