Dark Testament

In this extraordinary collection, the award-winning poet Crystal Simone Smith gives voice to the mournful dead, their lives unjustly lost to violence, and to the grieving chorus of protestors in today's Black Lives Matter movement, in search of resilience and hope.

With poems found within the text of George Saunders's Lincoln in the Bardo, Crystal Simone Smith embarks on an uncompromising exploration of collective mourning and crafts a masterwork that resonates far beyond the page. These poems are visually stark, a gathering of gripping verses that unmasks a dialogue of tragic truths--the stories of lives taken unjustly and too soon.

Bold and deeply affecting, Dark Testament is a remarkable reckoning with our present moment, a call to action, and a plea for a more just future.

Along with the poems, Dark Testament includes a stirring introduction by the author that speaks to the content of the poetry, a Q&A with George Saunders, and a full-color photo-insert that commemorates victims of unlawful killings with photographs of memorials that have been created in their honor.

"I love this tremendously skillful, timely, and dazzling repurposing of passages of my novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Crystal Simone Smith has, with her amazing ear and heart, found, in that earlier grief, a beautiful echo for our time." --George Saunders, New York Times bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December

"Written in response to the murder of George Floyd...this touching memorial to the Black lives lost to systemic racism is a rousing homage to those protesting in their honor, who refuse to let these deaths be in vain." - Publisher's Weekly

Publication Date: 
January 3, 2023